MORE Staffordshire firms are helping to increase overseas trade regionally and expand their business operations as a result.
Export statistics issued by HMRC show that the West Midlands continues to be the top region for overseas growth, having the highest year-on-year percentage increase in exports in England.
Annual exports are up from 23.3 billion to 27.8 billion, which is a 19.2 per cent increase compared to the last year's figures.
Staffordshire County Council is urging more businesses to export and get the expert backing they need to do so.
Its export advice events, run with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and supported by local MPs, have been attended by hundreds of companies.
Nearly 30 businesses attended the latest event in Leek, hosted by Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley and sponsored by Lloyds Bank.
Frances Bromley from Leek art and design studio Scabetti spoke of her exporting journey and the opportunities that working with UKTI have brought to her business.
She said: "The trade show assistance results in invaluable networking and PR opportunities and enables us to personally present our products to overseas markets."
Staffordshire County Council's cabinet member for economy and infrastructure Mark Winnington said: "Exporting can really open up opportunities to businesses and enable them to substantially increase their operations. UKTI speaks to businesses all of the time about perceived barriers and will guide them through so they can successfully tap into overseas markets."
Karen Bradley MP reiterated the importance of promoting the British brand to overseas markets and encouraged others to participate in exporting their goods and services abroad.
She said: ''We have many creative, innovative and impressive businesses in the Staffordshire Moorlands like Scabetti, who manufacture their products in the UK.
"Exporting these products not only reinforces the British brand but also helps to increase our sales to international markets.''
UKTI presented a taster of the range of support and advice they can provide to businesses wishing to start or enhance the amount of exporting they currently undertake and were on hand to provide more detailed support on a one-to-one basis.
Anyone wanting support with their exporting plans or ideas can contact firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be put in touch with a dedicated UKTI International Trade Advisor.