The Annual GTR UK Trade and Export Conference

For the fourth year running, the Global Trade Review (GTR) hosted its annual UK Trade & Export Finance Conference in London in June. Trade and Export Finance Limited (TAEFL) was delighted to be one of the sponsors for the event and man a stand throughout the day. The first conference was held in Birmingham in 2014 where TAEFL worked closely with GTR to identify some interesting speakers. The conference was again held in Birmingham in 2015 before moving to Liverpool in 2016. London hosted the 2017 conference in which over 400 people attended. It was good for the TAEFL team to meet companies trading internationally, banks and strategic partners.

The aim of the GTR conference is to gather all the leading trade and export finance professionals together to share experiences from their sectors, discuss current trends and priorities for the future. In previous years TAEFL’s CEO Mark Runiewicz has given presentations and sat on panels sharing his extensive knowledge of trade finance but this year he was able to enjoy the benefits of simply being a participant during the day! The TAEFL team took turns in manning the stand so everyone managed to sit in on some discussions and benefited from the knowledge of the different economists and business managers there.

There was a fantastic turnout from the SME sector which meant we talked to a lot of companies who range from first time exporters to experienced exporters. The team found it particularly encouraging to see an increase in exporters over the last few months, despite the initial uncertainty following the Brexit vote. All the speakers were very positive about the future of world trade and encouraged UK businesses to be more proactive about their importing and exporting.

Following the conference after a quick change of outfits, TAEFL was back in the Grange Hotel, Tower Bridge ready for the Export Excellence Awards which GTR hosted in the evening. Mark Runiewicz and fellow director Mary McErlain presented the Export Excellence in Mena (Middle East and North Africa) Award sponsored by TAEFL which went to Systems Power, a fantastic company which exports into the Middle East very successfully. They then went on to win the overall prize of the ‘Exporter of the Year’ award.

As well as presenting an award, TAEFL hosted two tables in the evening and invited some clients and strategic partners to enjoy a delicious three course meal and a free bar afterwards. It was a brilliant night to spend time with some of our clients and strategic partners in a relaxing environment with no work pressures and busy timetables. The team was also proud to hear about some of the achievements of our clients and how they are taking big strides in growing their business and improving their products.

Despite the many challenges facing SMEs, it was very heartening to hear about the success of the companies nominated for awards and how our own clients have progressed and grown from our funding. The services we offer do make a big difference for SMEs and it gives us a warm feeling to see them succeed.