While there has been considerable focus on China, the Indian subcontinent and emerging markets in South America, the newer members of the European Union also offer important opportunities to improve bilateral trade. Strong growth in some Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries - right through the economic downturn - underlines this. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has recognised the opportunity and has been encouraging UK companies to build relationships in these countries.
As part of this initiative, James Penfold took part in a four-day mission to Romania and Bulgaria, alongside companies large and small from the UK’s nuclear, oil and gas, mass transport and water sectors. The rapidly expanding consultancy market and significant infrastructure development plans (including new nuclear reactors, decommissioning and waste management) mean that this is now a very dynamic market. The series of events acted as both a showcase for UK knowledge and expertise and an opportunity to find out about the excellent capabilities of local firms. The increased support and involvement of the UK Government in these markets is a welcome development that should benefit both the UK and CEE countries.