Over 100 leading automotive, engineering and manufacturing businesses from Coventry and Sweden attended a major conference to boost commercial links between the countries.
The UK-Sweden Bilateral Trade Event, which was organised by 52 Global Consulting and supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Coventry University Technology Park in Puma Way.
The all-day conference included keynote speeches from Richard Jesson, Head of Procurement and Supply Chain at Aston Martin; Dr Paul Joesbury, Group Purchasing and Supply Chain Director at LEVC; Thomas Ashton, Design Director at CAD CAM Automotive; and Stewart Lyle, Senior Planning Analyst – Vehicle Operations from Jaguar Land Rover.
Per Osterstrom from the Gothenburg Business Group gave an overview of Sweden while Karin Andersson highlighted the work of Techtank which is a group of 21 Swedish businesses ranging from large manufacturers to small engineering companies that launched an office in Coventry two years ago.
The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John Blundell, also hosted a civic dinner at St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry to further strengthen links.
Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Hub, said Coventry and Warwickshire was a key destination for the automotive industry and this event would lead to further business between the area and Sweden.
“The conference and dinner were a great opportunity to build on the relationships we have already established with a cohort of Swedish companies that are trading in the UK,” he said.
“By gathering such an influential group of businessmen and women together, we were able to highlight the opportunities for future business.
“The conference was a perfect chance to explain the support that is available from the Growth Hub to the Swedish companies, many of who already have trading links with this area.
“Coventry and Warwickshire is a key destination in the global automotive industry and we were able to highlight the fantastic work that is already taking place here and how both countries could benefit in the future.”
Paul Sullivan, director of engineering consultants 52 Global Consulting, said direct trade between Sweden and the UK was the focal point of the event.
He said: “There is already a great deal of activity between the two countries but we hope events like this will extend it even further and encourage inward investment in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“We have companies in Coventry and Warwickshire that are already working on investing in Sweden and this bilateral trading is very positive for future economic growth.
“We organised this event to encourage trading and to give businesses the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their counterparts abroad to collaborate and trade.
“The UK is a key export market for Sweden and there was a great deal of positivity about working together in the future.”
Caption: Front, Karin Andersson from Techtank (left) and Paul Sullivan from 52 Global Consulting. Back, Per Osterstrom from the Gothenburg Business Group (left) and Craig Humphrey of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Hub,