Welsh companies will be heading for Washington D.C. and Boston in September on the first of a new series of trade missions organised by the Welsh Government.

Altogether ten missions are planned as part of a drive to continue the upward trend in Welsh exports. In addition to the US east coast, the destinations on the schedule are Qatar/UAE, Canada, Japan, China (twice), Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey and the US west coast.

Wales Business Minister Edwina Hart is urging companies to take advantage of the Washington-Boston trade mission to increase business in the US.

“The US 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 US and regard our relationship with key business representatives as critical to working together to support and stimulate economic growth.”

The Minister’s comments reflect the close relationship the Welsh Government has built with the commercial team at the US Embassy in London and a newly forged link with Fairfax County, Virginia, a thriving commercial centre adjacent to Washington.

The itinerary for the 6-day trade mission, which leaves Wales on September 16, includes networking events at the British Embassy in Washington and in Fairfax County and Boston.

Fairfax County is home to ten Fortune 100 companies and a major centre for aerospace giants such as Northrop, BAE Systems, Lockheed, General Dynamics and Boeing. Other big employers in the county include Booz Allen Hamilton (technology), AT&T (telecommunications), Cisco Systems (telecommunications), IBM (technology), Capital One (financial services), Oracle (software) and Freddie Mac (mortgages).

Gerald Gordon, the chief executive of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, spoke at a recent Welsh Government seminar in Cardiff on ‘Doing Business in the United States’ attended by more than 100 Welsh businesses. “There are tremendous opportunities to expand business between Wales and the US, and Fairfax County is delighted to be part of this event to help companies get started,” he said.

The cost of participating in the trade mission will be £1,216.00, a discounted price that reflects a Welsh Government subsidy of 50% available to one delegate per participating company.

The price includes return economy class flights Heathrow – USA – Heathrow, internal economy flight from Washington to Boston, 6 nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, and airport transfers in the US.

For more information on the US trade mission and others in the programme, phone 03000 6 03000.