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Chamber Looks East For New Trade

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber is ahead of the pack when it comes to forging new business links in Eastern Europe, according to the area’s MEP.

Michael Cashman was speaking in Brussels at the official launch of the Eastern European Partnership.

He said:

"It is extremely encouraging to see the effort being made by key officials in Coventry and throughout the West Midlands to forge strong bonds with Eastern Europe.

"There is enormous potential for export to Eastern Europe, especially within the automotive sector and by working in partnership the opportunities for growth are there to be taken.

Chamber president Isabella Moore, who has represented The Chamber on a number of European trade-missions, said:

"This meeting has acted as a springboard for regional partnerships in the UK to adopt a culture that embraces working with regions of similar economic structure in parts of Eastern Europe, something The Chamber has been part of for many years.

"Together this partnership and the recent West Midlands in Europe launch has enabled members to engage with evolving European Union policy, legislation and future funding programmes to provide a collective benefit for the West Midlands region."

"For the past eighteen months we have been seeing opportunities for trade and bi-lateral co-operation with cities in Central and Eastern Europe.

"During that time we have established strong links with Eastern European cities who have a similar industrial profile to Coventry - Kecskemet in Hungary, Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Katowice in Poland, along with St Etiene in France."

Chamber products and marketing director Nigel Gaynor, who also attended the Brussels event, added:

"It is vital that The Chamber and its partners are able to cement partnerships with European counterparts in line with European Union guidelines on economic enlargement.

"Working with European Chambers, local authorities and regional development agencies we are aiming to not only promote trading, but also share best-practice and work on joint projects to secure European funding and ensure their future growth."

"We have all agreed to take this forward and one of the first actions we will all be taking is to work together on an e-commerce project, which would be by working with transnational partners."

"The Chamber are looking to send a membership recruitment expert to our Eastern European partnership cities in the new-year to not only share best-practice but to help recruit companies to Chambers in Polish, Hungarian and Czech Republic cities with which we have strong links."

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CWN / Business / The Chamber / 19 Jan 01

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