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Adviser joins team to bolster trade support

Keeping up with demand: Chamber documentation manager Dave Harris with Mandy Haque

Documentation team helping UK exporters

The Chamber’s documentation team is continuing to help exporters ship their goods despite the coronavirus pandemic, after adapting some of its working practices. The team has switched to home working, in

line with government advice, but is still able to process documents for international traders. And despite business feeling the impact of the

Covid-19 outbreak, there has been a high demand for export documents. Mandy Haque, international director at the Chamber, said: “Despite the pandemic, the documentation department has seen an increase in volumes of documents processed this March compared to March 2019. “We can still deliver all services, while working

to the government guidelines. We have actually seen an increase of documents from many of our customers who are doing their best to continue to export. We have been on hand to support them. “We received many phone calls from existing

customers asking if we are still able to process their documents and we have been able to help them with some short notice requests too. “We have been able to reassure customers

and for some get them out of some sticky situations at ports. “We have also received enquiries from new

companies, particularly wanting information on importing and in the pharmaceutical industry. “We appreciate that this is a challenging time

for all exporters and importers, but we are here to support you.” Due to the change in work practices, exporters

have been advised to switch to electronic methods of submitting documents where possible, rather than the ‘wet stamped’ system. Mandy Haque added: “The team have been amazing in adapting to home working in what is still a traditionally manual processed industry. “The British Chambers of Commerce are

working hard with those countries that will only accept wet stamped documents. “We would encourage all exporters that can

move to electronic methods of submitting documents to us, to look at expediting this.”

For more information on the Chamber’s documentation services email


The Chamber’s international team have boosted their support for businesses looking to trade overseas by appointing a new international trade adviser. Rebecca Gough joined the team last month in

the middle of the Covid-19 crisis – and has so far only met her new colleagues via video link. Rebecca worked for the British Allied Trades

Federation for 20 years assisting with export and import advice and queries. She specialises in import, export and trade

show help and advice for the gift, jewellery, home decoration, travel goods, fashion accessories and finishing industries. At BATF she helped many of these companies

to exhibit at various international trade shows through UK pavilions. She has also organised a number of very

successful Department for International Trade UK national pavilions at overseas exhibitions, along with UK group trade missions. She said: “I’ve only been here for a short time

but I am really excited to be able to bring the experience that I have in getting businesses into international markets and offer that expertise to all sectors and help businesses within the region to develop their international growth.” Chamber international director Mandy Haque

said: “Rebecca is a new international trade adviser and we chose not to hold off on recruiting her as we recognise that businesses need support. Rebecca has a wealth of experience in

international trade due to her previous role with international business relationships and overseas

Rebecca Gough

trade fairs and can support business in this exceptional situation. She added that the international trade

advisers in the West Midlands region had helped businesses to export more than £1bn worth of goods and services during the last financial year. The international department at the Chamber

is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all areas of international business and has a team of advisers to support companies to grow in overseas markets., delivering the programme on behalf of the Department for International Trade. The team includes advisers Cheryl Boxall, Pete

West, Jane Matty and newly appointed Rebecca Gough. Each has industry specific knowledge and can

assess a company’s challenges and aspirations, Jane Matty is a sector lead for health and life sciences, Pete West is the lead on automotive, and Cheryl boxall leads on creative industries.

New translation services

The Chamber translation services team has launched three new initiatives to help keep business moving during the coronavirus pandemic. With the Covid-19 outbreak rapidly changing how companies operate across the globe, many businesses have taken to email, social media and messaging apps to communicate with customers. Among the new schemes launched by the

translations team is an on-demand telephone interpreting service, in which companies are provided with a code to give staff access to interpreters of any language. They will also receive guideline of how to

use the service, which is particularly useful if the interpreting is ad-hoc (i.e. the interpreter does not have to prepare beforehand or look for specific technical terminologies). The second new service is interpreting for virtual B2B meetings and is suitable for online

meetings with overseas customers and counterparts, whether via telephone or video conferencing. This has a 48-hour turnaround time and

requires a brief on the subject matter, date, time and language required. The team then allocate a highly-experienced interpreter to assist. The third area of support is a scripted call

service where firms can send over a written script of all the questions they need to ask overseas counterparts, clients or suppliers, along with their contact telephone numbers and email addresses in case they are not available at a specific time. An interpreter will then translate those

questions into the required language, call the contact and ask the questions on the company or individual’s behalf.

For more information email

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