Fairfax County EDA headlines June 29 Cardiff seminar to boost business between Wales and U.S.

Shan Ekin-Wood, Welsh Government, 011 44 (0) 2920 898 636

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The first stage of a drive to increase business between Wales and the United States got underway June 29 with a seminar in the Welsh capital of Cardiff organized by the Welsh government in partnership with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), the South Wales Chamber of Trade and the U.S. Embassy in London.

The event, “Doing Business in the U.S.,” drew more than 100 Welsh businesses. The event highlighted the benefits and opportunities and key areas to consider when undertaking business in the U.S. The U.S. is the largest single export market for Wales, accounting for 28 percent of Welsh exports.

Business Minister Edwina Hart led the session for the Welsh government. “The U.S. represents the largest single export market for Wales and is hugely important for Welsh businesses across all sectors,” she said. “We value our business links with the U.S. and regard our relationship with key business representatives as critical to working together to support and stimulate economic growth.”

Also speaking at the event: Gerald L Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the FCEDA; Andrew Williams, commercial specialist at the U.S. Embassy in London; and Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce. A number of U.K.-based companies also will discuss their experience of trading, exporting and working in the U.S.

"There are tremendous opportunities to expand business between Wales and the U.S., and Fairfax County is delighted to be part of this event to help companies get started," Gordon said.

Richard Parris, chairman and CEO of U.K. software company Intercede, which recently established a presence in Fairfax County, described how nearly 70 percent of the company’s revenue now comes from the U.S. and how his firm provides identification software to customers such as the White House.

The seminar comes ahead of a Welsh government-led business trade mission to Virginia and Washington, D.C., in September. The Welsh government is working closely with the U.S. Embassy, the FCEDA, South Wales Chamber of Trade and the British Embassy in Washington to establish key business contacts and networks ahead of the mission.