13 March 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Davies launched a new export trade initiative during a visit earlier today to Manchester-based specialist training and education systems provider EDM.
The Government Ministers met with more than 100 of the north-west region’s largest business exporters during the visit to EDM’s facility in Newton Heath, Manchester where high-technology simulation systems based on sophisticated air, land and sea vehicles are developed for the training needs of a wide range of commercial and defence customers.
The £3.5 million ‘Gateway to Global Growth’ initiative will support the export efforts of innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), though UK Trade & Investment services and access to specialist third-party support. It will begin next month with around 1,250 companies expected to be put through the programme in 2009/10.
Managing Director of EDM, Kevin Bird, who returned from a sales mission to China only yesterday, said he was delighted that his company was selected to host the visit during which such an important programme aimed at boosting exports was formally launched.
He said: “Exports account for around 60 per cent of our turnover, so are vital to us – as they are for the products and services of many other businesses both in the north-west region and the UK at large.
“We have, with UK Trade & Investment assistance, won major contracts in the US with airlines Continental and Delta along with significant contracts in China and the Middle East, and we were delighted to be able to host this high-powered business group here today and to witness the government’s pledge to help the export potential of SMEs across the UK,” added Mr Bird.