Inevitably, our International Trade team at the Surrey Chambers witnessed a determined focus on Brexit preparations for businesses last month. October saw our three Brexit Bootcamp events held at Sandown Racecourse, HG Wells Centre, and Denbies Wine Estate. Our select experts on international trade, tax and VAT, employment and data protection, delivered essential advice to over 120 delegates in total. Online, our Brexit Hub on the Surrey Chambers website continues to be an invaluable resource of up-to-date guidance keeping abreast of information in flux.
A key event attended by the team last month was the 2019 International Trade Summit hosted by the British Chambers of Commerce. Held annually, the Summit is dedicated to supporting businesses across the country on a broad spectrum of export-related themes, with panel discussions and practical workshops throughout.
This year, a palpable sense of both reticence and anticipation on the country’s departure from the EU could be detected amongst the delegates, with over 500 in attendance sharing the same concerns and questions. This was addressed by BCC Director General Adam Marshall in his opening speech, noting the frustration over uncertainty expressed by businesses and stressing the importance of continuing to trade internationally during unpredictable times.
However, panel discussions led by a variety of eminent speakers had a welcome emphasis on addressing concerns honestly and with encouragement, with topics ranging from customs procedures, global supply chains and diversifying overseas markets. The Chambers team were pleased to hear the success stories of businesses and speakers of major organisations looking onward with readiness and optimism.
The most important message gathered from our activity in October is clear: international trade is still integral to UK business and the global economy as a whole, and should be at the forefront of the decision-makers’ minds. As ever, our International Trade team at the Surrey Chambers are ready and prepared to support you, whatever – or whenever – the outcome.
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Aaron Law is an International Trade Assistant at Surrey Chambers of Commerce