Article first published in UK Trade News 07-09-18

A small delegation of business leaders from the South West of England are off to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk later this month from the 24 to 28 September.

The visit is being organised by International Trade Matters Ltd (ITM) working in partnership with the Novorossiysk Chamber of Commerce, and looking to develop future business, educational, and cultural opportunities between the two peninsulas.

Linda Middleton-Jones, managing director of ITM, and director of the Plymouth & Devon Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been invited by the President of the Novorossiysk Chamber of Commerce Mr Igor Zharinov, for local companies interested in exporting to Russia’s largest sea port.”

Plymouth has been linked to Novorossiysk since 1956, and formal links were officially tied in 1990 between the cities.

“We are looking to visit companies in Novorossiysk, meet educational, cultural and political leaders, and sign a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between the Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce and Novorossiysk Chamber in working together over the years to come,” she said.

Mr Zharinov, said: “I represent over 240 firms in Novorossiysk and we’re growing fast.”

“There are opportunities in our marine, navigation, freight, education, student exchange programmes, digital and creative media, food and drink, and many other consumer goods and sectors,” he said.

Mr Sergei Averin, UK representative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (London), said: “We are supporting this South West visit to Novorossiysk which is unique to this area.”

“Our organisation would like to see more regions across the UK doing business in the Russian market place,” he said.

Firms from Plymouth and the South West already have experience forging contacts in Russia, and in June 2017, the Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce hosted a party of Russian delegates from Novorossiysk and the Tatarstan Chambers.

The Russian delegation took time out from the Russian-British Chamber’s conference in London to visit Plymouth to see the potential for promoting trade links between the two cities and regions.

The Russian group was taken on a tour of Princess Yacht’s base in Stonehouse, Plymouth, and given a cruise around the Sound in one of the firm’s vessels.

Kevin Kelway, director of Dorcas Media, and ITM specialist helping to coordinate the visit, said: “Yes, we are living in challenging times with Brexit and the ongoing political relationships between Moscow and London, but fostering long term business, educational, and cultural relations for the future must carry on.”

“The aim of the South West visit is to cement existing and new relationships and opportunities.”

“Over 600 British companies operate in Russia and the UK is the 10th biggest investor in Russia, and with plenty of scope to develop trade between our regions.”

International Trade Matters Ltd is an independent company based in Devon and works across the UK and overseas, and offers international trade services across sectors, geographies and disciplines.

The company has a raft of experts in advice on entry in new markets, international marketing and PR strategies, and delivers advice clinics for companies, educational, business organisations, and Chambers.

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