'GLOBAL GATEWAY' EVENT ENCOURAGES OVERSEAS BUSINESS

04 February 2011

An audience of almost 90 business leaders attended the Gatwick Diamond Initiative's 2011 keynote event. Speakers included Robin Barnett CMG of UK Trade & Investment, Andrew McCallum of Gatwick Airport and Dr Alastair Livesey from Diverse Energy.

The Gatwick Diamond Initiative hosted its 2011 keynote event, entitled ‘Gatwick Diamond – Global Gateway’, last night (Thursday 3rd February) at the Arora Hotel, Gatwick/Crawley.

An audience of almost 90 business leaders heard from keynote speakers Robin Barnett CMG, Managing Director of UK Trade & Investment Business and Andrew McCallum, Director of Communications and External Affairs for Gatwick Airport, who highlighted the business opportunities resulting from the area’s airport economy.
  
Former UK Ambassador to Romania, Robin Barnett, spoke on the importance of international trade to the UK economy and outlined the Government’s commitment to helping exporters. “Doing business in another country can be a challenge and UK Trade & Investment has a range of programmes, which can help companies in the Gatwick Diamond that are looking to export,” said Robin.

Andrew McCallum summarised Gatwick Airport’s contribution to the UK economy and outlined the benefits of the airport's £1 billion investment plan for the locality. “Gatwick Airport employs 23,000 people on site, including 2,200 employed directly by the airport depending on the time of the year”, he said.  “A further 13,000 jobs are created in the local area through related activities and the airport contributes £2 billion to the UK economy annually.”

Dispelling the myth that only large companies can trade overseas, Dr Alastair Livesey, Managing Director of Diverse Energy Ltd, inspired the audience with his testimonial of the benefits international trade has brought to his start-up business.

Based in the Gatwick Diamond area, his award-winning company supplies low cost, low carbon power generation systems for mobile telecommunications towers in remote areas. As well as making a profit which benefits the Gatwick local economy, his product innovations are transforming the lives of communities in the developing world, where more than 2.5 billion people still do not have access to a telephone service. “Although Diverse Energy was born during the recession, we have taken advantage of every opportunity to grow internationally, including taking part in the UKTI Passport to Export scheme,” said Alastair. “There is support available to companies considering ways to grow internationally”.

Rosemary French, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, spoke of her desire to help local firms survive and grow in the downturn by trading overseas. “The Gatwick Diamond is a £13 billion economy of national importance, known for its high value manufacturing and services, higher levels of internationalisation and innovation. However, businesses in the area need to capitalise further and faster on growth through international activity,” said Rosemary.
 
“The Gatwick Diamond Initiative’s aim is to help the area centred around Gatwick Airport, from Brighton to London and East Grinstead to Dorking, to become a world class internationally recognised business location. We are thrilled that this event has inspired more than 100 business leaders to research opportunities and paths to international success,” she concluded.

 
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