Sheffield must use the EU referendum result as either a ‘wake-up call or a springboard,’ according to a new business forum.
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce launched the new International Business Forum to discuss tackling the international trade deficit in the wake of Brexit.
The forum has been created to be the voice of Sheffield Chamber members who carry out or want to carry out business overseas, and to help position the city as a key location for international investments and trade.
Kiley Tan, forum chair and director at Mosaic International, said: “Brexit dominates business conversations and will continue to do so until the powers that be decide on a new approach. It is important we reassure EU businesses they are welcome here and that Sheffield is still a place they can thrive in.
“Despite the doom and gloom, we must make a choice - succumb to the despair or say ‘there are other opportunities out here, let’s go and get them.’
“Sheffield Chamber’s members’ council identified the reversal of the UK trade deficit as one if its key priorities. The gap between what we as a country buy and sell is £2.3bn - that is not a sustainable business model. We have perhaps become complacent in having Europe on our doorstep, with no major tariffs, cultural differences or language barriers. After Brexit we have to take a good, hard look at ourselves.
“There is a demand for British products and services out there which are still being sought after for their quality and finesse. But we can no longer rely on Europe. We need to look up, we need to look out and we need to look a lot further afield – America, Japan, Australia to name just a few.
“We must use the EU referendum result as either a wake-up call or a springboard. You choose.”
The IBF will meet once every quarter to discuss the latest developments in international trade and business and is open to all Sheffield Chamber members, regardless of size or international trade experience.
Eemail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 201 8888 if you are interested in joining the IBF or would like more information.