Ambassadors for British Business Scheme

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry why the Ambassadors for British Business scheme was discontinued; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

In 2004 UK Trade and Investment undertook a trade services review whereby it evaluated all the services it offers UK businesses. It took the decision then to discontinue the formal Ambassadors for British Business scheme. At the time, only a handful of business leaders were still active in the scheme. We value the contribution made by senior business representatives in support of companies trading internationally. We continue to work extensively with them. We do so now by ensuring their time, skills and expertise are specifically targeted to clear trade and investment objectives.

An example of the way we continue to use the expertise of British business leaders includes our work with Ellis Goodman CBE. Mr. Goodman through his foundation co-sponsors the US marketing scholarship programme with UKTI and British Airways. The programme pays for marketing directors from UK SMEs to attend a weeklong marketing course at the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. The five-day course is followed by a one-week attachment to a US company where they can see how US companies market their goods first hand. The programme aims to ensure that UK SMEs understand the importance of effective marketing in the USA, enabling them to improve their business in the USA by developing a realistic marketing strategy.

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