Drive to make firms in region ‘export champions’

BUSINESS leaders have launched a major export drive to boost the Leeds city region economy by £2.6bn and help create thousands of new jobs.

Led by the city region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in partnership with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and Chamber International, the campaign aims to help more firms grasp business opportunities in emerging markets and provide more support for existing and potential export- ers.

A survey carried out last year showed that only 10 per cent of firms in the city region export outside the UK.

The cornerstone of the campaign is an ‘export champions’ network, giving would-be exporters the chance to learn from firms that are already doing business overseas.

Firms can become export champions by registering at

In return for their support, champions will have the opportunity to promote their export success on the LEP website and various other channels.

The new campaign was launched at ExploreExport 2012, which was held in Leeds as part of UK Export Week.

LEP chairman Neil McLean said: “As the largest manufacturing base in the country, and the UK’s largest regional financial centre, Leeds city region should be in prime position to take advantage of the immense business opportunities in emerging markets.

“Our research shows that companies which trade internationally are more innovative.”