Newly-honoured institute of export chief for ‘We are international’ event

24 June 2014

The newly-honoured director general of the Institute of Export is special guest at the next We Are International Export Networking event in July.

Lesley Batchelor (pictured), who was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her work in developing export education and training for British business, will be speaking and welcoming guests at the We Are International export networking event at The Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds on July 4.

The event is the fifth supporting Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s We Are International campaign which aims to add £1.6bn to the City Region economy and create thousands of jobs by 2018.

Lesley Batchelor, who lives in York, is well known for having enhanced the performance of hundreds of SME businesses. She was appointed director general of the Institute of Export (IOE) in 2010 after working with a series of blue chip international businesses and establishing a small strategic development agency supporting new market entry planning for SMEs.

She is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group Advisory Panel on Trade & Investment, the All Party Manufacturing Group and also gives evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Government support for SMEs.

Part of Lesley Batchelor’s talk will concentrate on a new Institute of Export International Trade survey which shows that a growing number of exporting companies believe that continuing membership of the EU is ‘critical’ to their business
The research shows that 49.5 per cent of exporters say Britain’s continuing membership of the EU is critical to their company, an increase from 45 per cent in 2013. A total of 38.5 per cent of businesses said they did not know if Britain’s continued membership of the EU was critical to their business and 14.7 per cent did not know.

The report says: The perceived importance of continued membership of the EU to a respondent’s company increases steadily with the turnover of the organisation.

In the smallest segment, up to £1 million turnover, only 41 per cent of respondents see a link between membership of the EU and the critical success of their business

For all companies turning over more than £10 million a year, the proportion believing that EU membership is important is consistent at approximately 58 per cent.

Latest figures show that Yorkshire and Humber’s value of exports to EU in the first three months of this year were £2.1bn. The We are International initiative is delivered by the LEP with international trade specialists Chamber International, UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Enterprise Europe Yorkshire, MY Export Hub and Yorkshire Universities.

Leeds City Region is the largest economic area in the country outside London, covering the 10 local authority areas of, Barnsley Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.

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