Swedish delegates explore export opportunities in Coventry

Business leaders from Sweden have completed a trade visit to Coventry to explore the growing export opportunities in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

Seven delegates from Olofström, in Sweden, were introduced to key business support networks in the city at an event organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and business development experts 52 Global Consulting.

The delegation included representatives from Techtank, a new technology cluster initiative which brings together advanced engineering and manufacturing firms in the South East of Sweden, its member firms, and other leading business and community figures from the region.

They were eager to find out about opportunities in Coventry where they can share and promote technological development and innovation.

During the visit, the delegates found out about support services available from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as well as the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, based at Cheylesmore House, in Coventry.

Karin Andersson is communications manager at Techtank which includes 20 company partners, 12 of which are automotive suppliers.

She said: “There has been substantial growth within the automotive industry, especially in the UK, and we saw this visit as a great opportunity for Techtank to find out about opportunities in Coventry that may interest our network of suppliers.

“We are now looking to establish a location here so our companies will be able to come here for business. It will also be beneficial for us to take advantage of the various support services available as the relationship grows.”

EBP, a member of Techtank, is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of body in white parts and assemblies for the automotive sector.

Chief executive Ulrika Larsson, said: “We are already doing business in Coventry but we recognise the enormous growth and potential that we can bring from Sweden by sharing our knowledge and competence in the sectors.

“A lot of our knowledge and skills has grown out of our former integration with Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin as well as the Volvo plant in Olofström and we believe this can contribute to the growth of Coventry.”

Paul Sullivan, of 52 Global Consulting which assists companies looking to grow in the UK and abroad, said there is a great opportunity for the two regions to do business together.

“Advanced manufacturing and engineering is a major strength in Coventry and Warwickshire and it is hugely positive to see that we are continuing to attract trade with clusters such as Techtank.

“Techtank and its member firms are eager to create a footprint in the city and by arranging this visit we were able to introduce them to the key business support networks and fast-track inward investment in Coventry.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “Global trade is vital for Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy and there is great potential for companies in both regions to strengthen their competitiveness by working together to promote technological development.”