With the support of the Department for International Trade, a lean green group of Tees Valley firms have opened a gateway into lucrative Asia-Pacific markets, without leaving Teesside

The Department for International Trade (DIT) overcame global flight and country entry restrictions due to the ongoing 54 COVID-19 pandemic to organise its first-ever virtual trade mission, ‘From Teesside to Taiwan’.

The Teesside-based renewable energy companies used the virtual doorway to Taipei, to make contacts within the region’s burgeoning environmental sector, establishing beneficial trade links.

The mission provided a full programme of events as part of the ERDF-funded ‘expanding Tees Valley presence in international markets’ project.

The Teesside to Taipei mission ‘led’ by international trade adviser Maria Dotsch included presentations, research and introductions from the head of environment and infrastructure from the DIT British Office Taipei, the British Chamber of Commerce’s Taipei – Renewables Committee and advice on business regulations and protocols from a well-known commercial law practice.

Julie Underwood, North East England Chamber of Commerce executive director of international trade, said: “In an ideal world, we would have enjoyed taking these businesses to Taiwan and meeting the people who would provide their companies with soft landings in the Far East. However, we, like every other business and organisation, must adapt to life during the pandemic and I am delighted our first virtual mission was such a success.”

Danny McGlade, an energy project expert and director of Plenary Project Solutions and FNVI, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Teesside to Taiwan Trade Mission. The knowledge, insights and contacts provided helped us to confirm the sales potential in the Asia-Pacific and South East Asian markets and it was invaluable in order to assess our chances to succeed.

“Through this initiative we will be launching our products and services in Taiwan first and from there developing business further afield in Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.”

In the first part of the virtual trade mission, delegates attended a market briefing on business culture and received insight into the Taiwanese renewable energy industry and its potential opportunities. This was followed by professional training and advice on pitching online in order to prepare for virtual meetings with buyers and potential partners.

Part two of the mission will be a two-month programme of one-to-one pre-arranged virtual meetings with buyers and potential partners, each tailored to individual delegate needs and specific interests. As a follow up, DIT and the companies are planning a visit to the country and a meeting with the buyers face-to-face as soon as travel restrictions have been lifted.

Julie added: “Nothing will ever replace a face-to-face meeting, but having successfully delivered our first virtual trade mission, we will be looking to deliver more, while COVID-19 continues to impact on the potential for overseas travel.”

The Department for International Trade North East continues to provide hands-on support to help businesses trade overseas successfully. To find out how we can help your business, get in touch.

Department for International Trade North East
0345 136 0169