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Contacts and links to help you get started


UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation dedicated to helping businesses export and grow overseas. It has an extensive website resource at UK Trade & Investment.

This is the place to go if you wish to research a market yourself. Providing plenty of export market data, it contains trade directories, statistical and market reports, country reports, guides to doing business.

Country Market Desks can be contacted directly on 020 7215 5000. Ask for the Helpdesk dealing with your chosen market.

Trade Partners UK is the main government provider of export information and funding. Its extensive website can be found at

It provides subsidised overseas market research. Passport to Export is a deal offering £4,000 worth of services for £1,000.

Export Explorer is an integrated package of help and advice that enables small and medium sized firms to experience new and accessible export markets at minimal cost. Participating in Export Explorer costs £99. This includes hands-on help and support provided by Trade Partners UK, plus briefings, information and administration. Travel and accommodation are extra, but there are special deals on transport and hotels.

Business Links, Trade Associations and other organisations deliver the programme with support from the International Group of Trade Partners UK.

British Chambers of Commerce have a wealth of information on export.

The London Chamber of Commerce organises lots of export events.

Local Business Links have an Export Development counsellor service. Business Link Sign Post Line: 0845 600 9006

The Regions

In the rest of the British Isles, Trade Partners support for export is channelled through:

  • Scottish Trade International: 0141 228 2808
  • WalesTrade International: 02920 825 004
  • Trade International Northern Ireland: 02890 233 233

Trade Fairs

The best way to reach export customers is through exhibiting at trade fairs. See Trade Fairs

The EU

The EU is an important source of help and funding. Detailed information can be found at

European Commission 020 7973 1992

Funding From The European Union is a free booklet available from the European Commission Publications Department 0870 241 5670. It can also be downloaded from the above website.

Export Control

No export license is required for exporting greeting cards to any countries, although it maybe required for some types of giftware products. The DTI's Export Control Department provides help and advice on all aspects of export control.

Help with Cultural and Language problems

The National Business Language Information Service (BLIS) is a database of language trainers, translators, interpreters and cultural consultants, run by the Languages National Training Organisation (LNTO): 020 7379 5131 or

The Languages in Export Advisory Scheme (Lexus) aims to provide impartial advice about language and cultural needs, the Business Language Review offered under this scheme, is open to UK companies with fewer than 500 employees. Subsidies may be available. Contact British Chambers of Commerce: 02476 694 484

Credit checks

This is something every business should consider, whether dealing with new or existing customers. There are only 50,000 companies in Germany, which file accounts, compared to over 900,000 in the UK.

The GCA has a special deal providing discounts of up to 50% on instant Internet credit checks on companies in the UK and Overseas with Experian. The system is fast and easy to use. Experian has the most advanced and comprehensive business database in the UK. Sample reports are available on the website at:

For further details please contact Jon Metcalf on: 07885 675110. Sue Plowright 0115 901 6292,