We’re all just coming down to earth after a fantastic evening on Wednesday to celebrate the success of firms from the North West which have been through our Passport to Export programme.
The event was held at Knowsley Hall on Merseyside, each county had its own award winner and the culmination of the evening was the crowning of the overall regional winner.
• North West Passport to Export Award 2010 and county winner for Merseyside: E-Tech Components, a Liverpool-based cable accessories manufacturer
• The Cumbria award: The Hawkshead Relish Company, based in Hawkshead
• The Lancashire award: Swimfin of Burscough, maker of the children’s self-adjusting buoyancy aid
• The Cheshire award: Tidy Planet, a Macclesfield-based waste-to-compost specialist
• The Greater Manchester award: Astley’s W Howard Limited which manufactures, sells and distributes architectural mouldings for the building trade.
We’ve done some work analysing what exactly happens to firms when they go through Passport and I’m really pleased that, on average, the firms saw exports rise by 26% whilst they were on the programme. Bearing in mind that the programme often lasts for less than a year, this is remarkable.
What is even better news is, in common with all firms that start to export; they will have boosted their productivity by an average of 34% and will be 12 % more likely to survive. They will be more competitive and will use their new skills to sell more in the UK as well as becoming 75% more innovative and carrying out more research and development.
These statistics, contained in a major study carried out at Glasgow University by Professors Harris and Li, are a real vindication of why we work with firms to get them exporting.
Looking around the room on Wednesday and seeing the many companies that had started trading internationally for the first time only recently, I realised that they were all winners, regardless of who actually took away the awards themselves. Their reward is simply to be better companies and that’s why my job is the best job in the world.