The North West economy would get a £2billion boost if every business in the region selling overseas expanded to one more global market, according to an expert.

Clive Drinkwater, regional director at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) North West, said international trade was key to aiding economic growth and urged businesses exporting to push further and those considering overseas sales to take the plunge.

The body has launched a new package of support for first-time exporters including training and advice on selling overseas, the chance to take part in trade missions to develop contacts with buyers and an online tool to assist planning.

UKTI is sponsoring the Exporter of the Year category of one of Lancashire’s biggest business awards, the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which is in the penultimate week of judging to select its winners.

Mr Drinkwater said: “The Government’s ambition is for exports to reach one trillion pounds and get 100,000 more companies exporting by 2020.

“Selling abroad is the surest path to successful, sustainable, long term growth and companies that export become more productive, more innovative and more efficient than those that don’t.

“Research shows they are also more likely to survive a recession than those firms that do not export.”

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