Events > Business Growth Forum 2024/25: International Trade and Innovation

Business Growth
Forum 2024/25:
International Trade
and Innovation


Tuesday 19 March 2024
Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport

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Are you looking to grow your business? Whether you are considering venturing into new global markets or diversifying your products and services, this Business Growth Forum will provide the inspiration and support you need to take your business to the next level.


Join UK Export Finance (UKEF), in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and East Midlands Chamber, for an informative morning of networking, discussion and presentations showcasing the support available for UK companies looking to grow their business by trading overseas.

You will have the opportunity to hear from UKEF, DBT, East Midlands Chamber, Innovate UK Edge, and others on how to drive business growth and succeed both in the UK and internationally.

You will also gain insights into the prospects for global trade in 2024/25, highlighting key trends and considerations to be aware of along your journey.

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the range of support that is available to assist your business’ growth, maximise its potential and achieve your ambitions.


What to Expect:

  • Meet representatives from government, East Midlands Chamber and trade finance solutions providers to understand the support available to current and future exporters.

  • Learn how your business can overcome common barriers to exporting, from finding the right opportunity, to accessing finance.

  • Hear first-hand experiences from local business, Avanti Conveyors, on the strategies they have undertaken and support they have leveraged to expand internationally.




09.00 - Arrival & Networking

09:30Welcome followed by Supporting your Business to Thrive in the UK and Globally
David Pearson, Director of Partnerships, East Midlands Chamber

09:45 - Developing your International Potential and Growth Aspirations
Mick Carling, Head of Partnerships – Midlands Region, Department for Business and Trade 
10:00 - Driving Business Growth through Innovation
Ian Evley, Innovation and Growth Specialist, Innovate UK EDGE 
10:15 - Accessing Finance to Win Contracts and Fulfil Orders Overseas
Paul Tandy, Export Finance Manager, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, UK Export Finance 
10:30 - Ensuring your Business is Customs Audit Compliant
Lucy Granger, International Trade and Customs Adviser, East Midlands Chamber 
10:45 - Global Trade Outlook: Insights for 2024/25
Sanjay Vallabh, Managing Director, Vallabh Associated Limited 
11:05 - International Trade Panel Discussion
Facilitated by David Pearson Panellists: Mick Carling, Ian Evley, Paul Tandy and Sanjay Vallabh
11:25 - Closing Remarks 
- Close with Networking and Refreshments


Meet the Speakers: 


David Pearson, Director of Partnerships, East Midlands Chamber
David is our international development specialist, and he’s responsible for the Chamber’s partnerships and international services team. David’s expertise draws from a background in commercial banking and helping SMEs to improve their performance. 
Paul Tandy, Export Finance Manager, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, UK Export Finance 
Paul is a professional Corporate and Institutional banker with extensive experience of credit structuring and frontline relationship management. Prior to joining UK Export Finance, Paul spent 32 years with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, working directly with businesses across multiple sectors and jurisdictions.
Paul has led relationship teams focused on providing credit solutions, resolving service issues and adding relationship value through the introduction of ancillary products and services. Paul is currently the UKEF Export Finance Manager based in the East Midlands, responsible for working with key stakeholders to help UK exporters to win contracts, fulfil orders and get paid.
Sanjay Vallabh, Managing Director, Vallabh Associated Limited
Sanjay is owner and managing director of Vallabh Associates Limited (VAL), a Debt Advisory and Broker business focused on SME’s and Mid Cap businesses. VAL are specialists in Trade Finance and Working Capital solutions, looking to understand client needs in order to deliver advisory support and debt structures.
Prior to forming VAL, Sanjay was a career banker with a major UK high street bank, focused on Relationship Management and International Trade origination. Since trading commenced VAL has built up a strong reputation as a Trade Finance specialist supporting numerous clients with their needs, ranging from general advice to sourcing funding solutions and providing ongoing support.
Lucy Granger, International Trade Manager, East Midlands Chamber
Lucy is the International Trade Manager at East Midlands Chamber and is responsible for the International services offered by the Chamber including, Export Documentation, ATA Carnets and ChamberCustoms®. Lucy is also a Customs Trainer, specialising in Customs Declarations and compliance.
Mick Carling Head of Partnerships and Ministerial
As Head of Partnerships and Ministerial, Mick is responsible for relationships and co-operation with commercial partners (banks, professional service organisations), member organisations (e.g. IoD, CBI, EEF ) and local government (LEPs, growth hubs and local government).
His commercial experience is in the chemicals industry in the Netherlands and the USA.  He has led chemical weapons inspections for the UN and run the forensics department of a police force in the UK.


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  Business Growth Forum 2024/25: International Trade and Innovation   
  Date: Tuesday 19 March 2024  
  Time: 09.00am - 11.30am  
  Location: Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport
DE74 2TZ

Contact UK Export Finance

  Please contact UKEF if you have any queries regarding export finance and how they can help you to win export contracts, fulfil orders and get paid.  
  email: customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk  
  visit: www.ukexportfiannce.gov.uk  

Contact DBT Midlands

  If you have any queries relating to international trade why not contact us. With staff in offices across the globe, we can help you find the answers.  
  email: dbtmidlands@businessandtrade.gov.uk  
  call: 0300 303 8955  
  visit: great.gov.uk  
  In Partnership with:  
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Places at our event are limited, so use the button below to register to join us today.




Anything missing? If there is a particular challenge or issue you would like us to address, please let us know when you register.

For any other export related enquiries contact the Department for Business and Trade in the Midlands at dbtmidlands@businessandtrade.gov.uk or call our export support service on 0300 303 8955.

Midlands Engine


Organised by:

The Department for International Trade

Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is the Government Department that helps UK based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy, acknowledged as Europe’s best place in which to succeed in global business.