Business networking site, Wales World Wide, and the South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce have announced a partnership aimed at boosting exports from Wales.

The partnership will see reciprocal support, sponsorship and dialogue between the organisations and its members, including Wales World Wide publishing expert international reports from the Chamber and information on its international trade events and workshops.

Wales World Wide will also have a presence on the Chamber’s International Trade Panel and work with the Chamber to strengthen relationships between Welsh Academic Institutes and countries around the globe, all with the aim of building connections that can help Welsh businesses trade internationally and encouraging inward investment.

“Both the South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce and Wales World Wide play different, but very important roles in helping foster international trade, so we see this as an important and natural partnership in providing our businesses with a comprehensive support structure that allows them to fulfil their growth potential.

“The Chamber has long-championed the need for Welsh businesses to look further afield for customers, as well as the need to adopt a collaborative approach to business support services,” said Chamber director, Graham Morgan. “Alongside Wales World Wide, we are committed to increasing the role of international connectivity so that we can improve our economic position in Wales.”

The partnership was formally announced at a networking breakfast attended by around 40 guests made up of exporting experts from SMEs, the financial world and the public sector, as well as those businesses yet to export, but looking to gain insights.

A panel, made up of Graham Morgan, Keith Waters, business development director at Fraser International and Guy Jones, director of commercial banking at NatWest – itself an official partner of Wales World Wide – then led a discussion on tips for businesses when participating in international trade missions – a timely topic with the Welsh Government expected to announce further trade missions soon.

Wales World Wide was launched last year in response to the urgent need for growth in the Welsh economy through exports and as the Welsh Government stepped up its drive for international trade.

It uses the digital architecture of social media and online marketing to give Welsh companies a platform to showcase their products, share information and develop contacts internationally. The site has more than 500 members and, since launching, has had 8,000 unique visitors from 114 countries.

Its core services are a free-to-use online Meeting Place with discussion forums and member-to-member messaging aimed at linking people with common business interests and a connection to Wales, as well as news on trade and international business developments and an interactive events calendar profiling international events taking place that have a connection with Wales.

“This is a strategically important partnership for Wales World Wide as we continue to grow and build a global online network of people with an affinity for Wales,” said Steve Howell, chairman of Wales World Wide.

“There are literally millions of people across the world who have family or work or educational ties with Wales who are potential contacts for Welsh businesses. Working with the Chamber, we can develop an online network to help business that either have, or are starting to think about exporting, to find opportunities internationally.”

Left to right: Graham Morgan – South Wales Chamber of Commerce, Keith Waters – Fraser International Business Development Ltd, Guy Jones – NatWest, Steve Howell – Wales World Wide