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I don’t know if you have noticed but the world is a very big space with a huge amount of potential for your business to grow. Growing your business internationally can seem daunting. How do you connect with potential customers in New York, Sydney or Istanbul? How do you find out about the markets if you want to trade with Vietnam, Chile or Finland? Do I need to go to these countries to find out? How much will it cost and is it worth it?

Surrey Chambers of Commerce are proud to be part of the British Chambers of Commerce Global Business Network (GBN), a network comprising of 53 UK Chambers of Commerce and 60 Overseas British Chambers of Commerce. 

The GBN are a comprehensive international network of British Chambers of Commerce and business groups located across the world, that drive two-way commerce between each location and the UK. 

Led by Anne-Marie Martin, Director of the Global Business Network, the network “act as an agile and reliable ecosystem for businesses wishing to widen their international horizons”. 

With each Chamber having a diverse membership of services and goods companies, this network allows our members to benefit from international B2B connections, in-country support and solutions, practical advice about the local business environment and potential market opportunities. 

And best of all – it is all provided by a known and trusted partner.

To see how the GBN works, I was recently invited to attend the GBN Global Roundtable conference in London, which was attended by over 100 representatives of the GBN. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet many of my colleagues from the various overseas Chambers, many for the first-time face-to-face, and gave me an opportunity to discuss possible working partnerships and future events with them. We were also able to identify how the GBN can build upon the great work that is already being done and really benefit Chamber members both in the UK and overseas. 

One area that was of great interest to me was the market research that the Overseas Chambers can produce for Chamber members looking to establish within their country. Whilst it is very easy to find generic information online, the GBN Chambers are able to make the research bespoke to the individual companies’ requirements, meaning that you can get the answers to the important questions. Unsurprisingly, there is a charge for this service, but I was pleasantly surprised that for the majority of the Chambers, this research is usually very reasonably priced and would usually include introductions to potential clients that may be interested in your goods and/or services. 

Another great service that they are able to provide is in-country support should you decide to export to/import from their country. This can range from help with understanding local regulations and laws, complying with tax laws, finding office space and help meeting local service providers such as accountants, translators and lawyers. 

All of the Overseas Chambers that are part of the Global Business Network are accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce, meaning that they have the same level of expectations, service and standards as any of the 53 UK accredited Chambers of Commerce. 

To see which Overseas Chambers are part of the Global Business Network, please visit 

Should any business be interested in the GBN Chambers and the services they can provide, please email me at 

Future Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the US 

The UK government has published a number of documents relating to a future free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and the US. 

The publication sets out:

The government’s overall approach to negotiations, including the intention that any agreement delivers benefits to businesses and households in every part of the UK

The UK’s high-level negotiating objectives, underpinned by one of the largest consultations ever undertaken with the UK public, businesses and civil society

The government’s response to the public consultation on a FTA with the USA. The response explains how input from the public consultation has informed our negotiating objectives

A detailed Scoping Assessment with a preliminary assessment of the potential long run economic impact of an FTA between the UK and the USA.

The objectives published in this report, are informed by one of the biggest consultations ever undertaken with the UK public, businesses and civil society, covering trade with the US, Australia, New Zealand and our potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). 

The link can be found here:  

An FTA with the US represents significant opportunities throughout the economy, from agriculture to professional services. The US is a developed, high wage economy with high standards, as such, potential benefits include better jobs, higher wages, more choice and lower prices for all parts of the UK.

UK-US total trade was valued at £220.9 billion in the last year, representing 19.8% of all of the UK’s exports. DIT’s analysis shows a UK-US FTA could increase trade between both countries by £15.3 billion in the long run in comparison to 2018 and increase UK workers’ wages by £1.8 billion.  

In a US FTA, the UK government will seek a dedicated SME chapter and SME-friendly provisions throughout – on everything from customs and trade facilitation, services sectors and business mobility to telecommunications, digital trade and intellectual property – knocking down trade barriers that will benefit the 30,000 SMEs in every part of the UK already exporting to the US.  

Negotiating objectives for the US-UK FTA will enable talks with the US to begin whilst the UK government continue to negotiate new trading arrangements with the EU. 

The UK government continue to prepare for trade agreements with others, with simultaneous talks helping to achieve the best possible outcome for UK consumers and businesses.

Latest information about the status of current and future trade agreements can be found here: 


If you have any comments or enquires about any of our International Trade services, please contact the team at 



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