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Business Growth Forum 2024/25: International Trade and Innovation

If you are considering venturing into new global markets or diversifying your products and services, this Business Growth Forum will provide the inspiration and support you need.

Event Information

Join UK Export Finance (UKEF), in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and East Midlands Chamber, for an informative morning of networking, discussion and presentations showcasing the support available for UK companies looking to grow their business by trading overseas.

You will have the opportunity to hear from UKEF,DBT, East Midlands Chamber, Innovate UK Edge, and others on how to drive business growth and succeed both in the UK and internationally.

You will also gain insights into the prospects for global trade in 2024/25, highlighting key trends and considerations to be aware of along your journey.

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the range of support that is available to assist your business’ growth, maximise its potential and achieve your ambitions.

What to Expect:

  • Meet representatives from government, East Midlands Chamber and trade finance solutions providers to understand the support available to current and future exporters.
  • Learn how your business can overcome common barriers to exporting, from finding the right opportunity, to accessing finance.
  • Hear first-hand experiences from local business, Avanti Conveyors, on the strategies they have undertaken and support they have leveraged to expand internationally.


09.00 - Arrival & Networking

09:30 - Welcome followed by Supporting your Business to Thrive in the UK and Globally

David Pearson, Director of Partnerships, East Midlands Chamber

09:45 - Developing your International Potential and Growth Aspirations

Mick Carling, Head of Partnerships – Midlands Region, Department for Business and Trade

10:00 - Driving Business Growth through Innovation

Ian Evley, Innovation and Growth Specialist, Innovate UK EDGE

10:15 - Accessing Finance to Win Contracts and Fulfil Orders Overseas
Paul Tandy, Export Finance Manager, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, UK Export Finance 
10:30 - Ensuring your Business is Customs Audit Compliant
Lucy Granger, International Trade and Customs Adviser, East Midlands Chamber 
10:45 - Global Trade Outlook: Insights for 2024/25

Sanjay Vallabh, Managing Director, Vallabh Associated Limited

11:05 - International Trade Panel Discussion

Facilitated by David Pearson Panellists: Mick Carling, Ian Evley, Paul Tandy, Sanjay Vallabh and Simon Mander, Managing Director, Avanti Conveyors Ltd

11:25 - Closing Remarks

11:30 - Close with Networking and Refreshments

Meet the Speakers: 

David Pearson, Director of Partnerships, East Midlands Chamber

David is the international development specialist, and he’s responsible for the Chamber’s partnerships and international services team. David’s expertise draws from a background in commercial banking and helping SMEs to improve their performance.

Paul Tandy, Export Finance Manager, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, UK Export Finance

Paul is a professional Corporate and Institutional banker with extensive experience of credit structuring and frontline relationship management. Prior to joining UK Export Finance, Paul spent 32 years with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, working directly with businesses across multiple sectors and jurisdictions.

Paul has led relationship teams focused on providing credit solutions, resolving service issues and adding relationship value through the introduction of ancillary products and services. Paul is currently the UKEF Export Finance Manager based in the East Midlands, responsible for working with key stakeholders to help UK exporters to win contracts, fulfil orders and get paid.

Sanjay Vallabh, Managing Director, Vallabh Associated Limited

Sanjay is owner and managing director of Vallabh Associates Limited (VAL), a Debt Advisory and Broker business focused on SME’s and Mid Cap businesses. VAL are specialists in Trade Finance and Working Capital solutions, looking to understand client needs in order to deliver advisory support and debt structures.

Prior to forming VAL, Sanjay was a career banker with a major UK high street bank, focused on Relationship Management and International Trade origination. Since trading commenced VAL has built up a strong reputation as a Trade Finance specialist supporting numerous clients with their needs, ranging from general advice to sourcing funding solutions and providing ongoing support.

Lucy Granger, International Trade Manager, East Midlands Chamber

Lucy is the International Trade Manager at East Midlands Chamber and is responsible for the International services offered by the Chamber including, Export Documentation, ATA Carnets and ChamberCustoms®. Lucy is also a Customs Trainer, specialising in Customs Declarations and compliance.

Simon Mander, Managing Director, Avanti Conveyors

Simon has worked at Avanti Conveyors since 1990. Avanti Conveyors is an independent family-owned business who design, manufacture, sell, install and support materials handling equipment across the world. Simon worked his way around all of the departments in the organisation to enable him to understand the full process to deliver quality products to their customers. He is now the Owner and Managing Director of this global company in the corrugated packaging industry. An engineer at heart, Simon is striving for continuous improvement and innovation to streamline the automated handling of products through technological advancements.

Mick Carling, Head of Partnerships and Ministerial

As Head of Partnerships and Ministerial, Mick is responsible for relationships and co-operation with commercial partners (banks, professional service organisations), member organisations (e.g. IoD, CBI, EEF ) and local government (LEPs, growth hubs and local government).
His commercial experience is in the chemicals industry in the Netherlands and the USA.  He has led chemical weapons inspections for the UN and run the forensics department of a police force in the UK.

To find out more please click here.

Event information:

Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport
DE74 2TZ

19/03/2024 09:00 - 12:00

Organised by:
Department for Business & Trade