An extensive programme of overseas events has been announced by Economy Minister Edwina Hart for 2016 -17, which has been designed to put Wales firmly on the international trade and tourism map.

The proposed programme includes up to 44 events in 16 countries. Covering export, inward investment, tourism and marketing activities, the programme will raise the profile of Wales as a business and tourism destination and support Welsh businesses to trade internationally.

In addition, the Welsh Government, in partnership with UKT&I, will be bringing the Export Hub truck to 10 locations across Wales next month as part of the UK wide ‘Exporting is Great Roadshow’.

The day long sessions, which are geared to support SMEs trade internationally and access export markets, will offer face-to-face assistance to first-time exporters and, using the latest technology, will connect businesses with experts in overseas markets.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “We want companies to take full advantage of the opportunities that trading internationally can offer and the 2016-17 programme builds on the substantial investment made over the current term of this government.

“Internationalisation is a key component for increasing growth and improving the competitiveness of companies in Wales. Overseas trade missions and exhibitions play a pivotal role in helping increase exports from Wales and form part of the Welsh Government’s extensive trade support programme for businesses.

“They also help raise Wales’ profile in the international arena and promote the skills and incentives available to potential inward investors through our programmes of support.”

The Minister said that tourism – a priority economic sector – would get a significant boost through the 2016 themed Year of Adventure when Wales would be promoted as a destination with a high quality tourism offer and a superb location for exciting and exhilarating adventure activities.

The overseas programme covers trade missions to the USA, India, Germany, Canada, Japan and China as well as attendance at key sector events, while the tourism industry and major events will be represented at strategic events worldwide, targeting markets in the Netherlands, USA, Scandinavia, China, France and Germany.

These range from MRO Europe in Amsterdam, Europe’s largest exhibition and conference for the maintenance, repair and overhaul aerospace market to MIPCOM, Cannes, for the world’s entertainment content market; from the Big 5 in Dubai, the largest construction event in the Middle East, to Medica, the world forum for medicine in Dusseldorf.

The Wales Year of Adventure 2016 will be promoted at the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Alaska, which is attended by hundreds of North American travel buyers and tour operators specialising in adventure travel.

The Major events team will build on the momentum following the successful hosting of The Ashes, Ryder Cup and the Rugby League World Cup to strengthen Wales’s presence and visibility in an extremely competitive market place.