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10.01.03      
Objective One helps to develop international trade for Cornish companies

A scheme providing Cornish companies with expert advice on selling their goods overseas is to be expanded with funding from Objective One.

Cornwall Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCCI) already employs one International Trade Adviser, Mike Puzey, who is based at Cornwall College and has spent the last thirteen years providing Cornish firms with a wide range of support and advice. A similarly successful scheme also operates in Devon.

Now, CCCI has received an Objective One grant of nearly £145,000 approved for a three-year project – worth almost £300,000 in total – that will greatly expand the service, including the addition of a second International Trade Adviser Lyn Morris, an administrator, Ken Cafferey, and a range of new services to be provided by the new team.

Mike Puzey from CCCI explained: "Export advisers have become an established, and valued, part of the Cornish business scene. We have many new and growing businesses in Cornwall with potential that should not be confined to just the local, or even UK, markets.

"Small businesses – some of which only employ a handful of people – do not often themselves have the expertise to know how best to sell their goods and services outside the UK. By helping them overcome the hurdles, whether in terms of logistics, documentation or legislation, we can help them become more successful – which in turn brings more money into the Cornish economy and helps protect jobs the length of the county."

CCCI estimates that over the next three years the service will provide guidance for more than 800 small businesses (with substantive support for 30 firms) – and bring an additional £500,000 into Cornwall.

Mr Puzey added: "With Objective One support, we can now greatly expand the amount of help that we are able to give exporters in Cornwall. The Exporters' networks that we are creating will give both experienced and not-so-experienced small businesses a chance to learn not only from professional advisers but also from each other at regular networking meetings. Also, a dedicated Exporters' Network web-site is being created with a discussion forum to allow Network members to pose questions, offer capacity sharing, exchange ideas, etc with input from the CCCI International Trade Advisers and other exporters."

The service provided through CCCI will be integrated with the Government's Trade Partners UK (TPUK) scheme and Business Link.

The role of the advisers will be to promote awareness of the benefits of exporting to companies that are not yet selling overseas, to assist and advise exporters (in logistics, documentation, new legislation & e-commerce), to train company staff to improve their exporting capabilities, to work in co-operation with TPUK, to create opportunities for locally-organised export marketing initiatives. The first of these initiatives will be a "Celtic Market" taking place in Morlaix in Brittany this July to coincide with the 2003 InterCeltic Watersports Festival being held in the bay of Morlaix. The advisers will also offer an export documentation service for companies who may not have adequate resources or experience to complete the documentation required, particularly in the case of export shipments where payment is being negotiated under Letter of Credit terms.

Both advisers will in future be based at Cornwall College, with one covering the West of Cornwall and one the East. Companies wanting more information on the service can contact CCCI by emailing chamber@ccci.org.uk or by calling 01209 611647.

The main grant of £145,000 for the project will come through the Objective One programme from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Match funding is made up by a grant of £30,000 from Cornwall Enterprise with remaining funding coming from the CCCI and its Services.

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Editor's notes:

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

ERDF is one of our four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million of grant funding available for developing the local economy between 2000 and 2006. ERDF exists to:

• Help reduce the gap between development levels and living standards among the regions and the extent to which least-favoured regions are lagging behind.

• Help redress the main regional imbalances in the European Community by participating in the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind, and the social conversion of regions.

For further information contact:
Mike Puzey
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce & Industry
01209 611647
chamber@ccci.org.uk

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

jason@dclark.co.uk

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