A group of the South East’s most dynamic construction businesses are set to grow their export ambitions after attending the Middle East’s largest trade show for the sector, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
The Big 5 International Building & Construction Show 2018 in Dubai (26-29 Nov) featured a showcase of products and services from some of the biggest names in the global construction industry.
Eight firms from the South East were among more than 2,600 exhibitors from 64 countries to attend the event as part of a wider DIT trade mission to Dubai.
The mission gave South East firms the opportunity to promote their brands by networking with regional and global operators. It also provided them with greater insight into the market’s sales potential.
The agenda included market briefings, a meet the buyer event, pre-arranged one-to-one meetings with potential customers and site visits to local construction projects.
The eight South East firms attending were hand dryer manufacturer Airdri Group, furniture maker Earthy Timber, the Expatriate Tax Advisory Service, makers of office partitioning systems Planet Partitioning, sector marketing agency Fabrick, LED manufacturer GAP Lighting, temporary structure specialist Independent Design House and lift supplier Titan New Lifts.
The businesses attended the mission with support from two DIT and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) backed projects, which were the South East International Business Growth Project and Get Exporting 2. These support the export ambition of SMEs from Oxfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Kent and East and West Sussex.
Andrew Mapstone, trade mission leader and DIT International Trade Adviser for the South East, said: “As the largest construction event in the Middle East, the Big 5 is the perfect show for our South East businesses to discover the potential for growth into the Middle East market.
“The businesses in our delegation offer a broad range of innovative products, services and expertise and have much to offer the sector. They’re ambitious to build on their UK success and came away from the show with new knowledge and contacts that will prove invaluable in achieving that.
“I’d urge any South East business with international ambitions to get in touch and see how DIT can support them too.”
DIT hosts regular trade missions to key markets overseas for firms across a range of sectors as part of its Exporting is GREAT initiative.
It has staff based in markets around the world, including International Trade Advisers who can provide expert trade advice, market know-how and practical support for international growth.