RIGHT now there’s a company in China that wants to import tea from the UK. There’s a firm in New Zealand that wants to buy British relishes and sauces. An importer in Spain wants to buy British beef and offal and a Czech retailer is looking to source British pet and equine products.

These are just some of the export opportunities available for businesses here in North Yorkshire and the rest of Britain. There are many, many more and there is lots of help available to companies who are willing to get into the export business.

I mention this because this week is Exporting is GREAT Week, a campaign by the government to encourage more UK businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to consider exporting.

As someone with lots of recent experience of doing business around the world, I know how the idea of dealing with unfamiliar customers and cultures can be challenging. But the opportunities to grow are there, it is not as difficult as you might think and the government in the shape of the UK Trade and Investment team will give you a helping hand.

Plenty of businesses in the Richmond constituency have already taken advantage of the assistance that is available with finance, insurance, market research and advice about how to do business in different parts of the world.

They include the Wensleydale Creamery which was helped to open up markets for its premium cheese in the United Arab Emirates, the city secret in Richmond which used UKTI to find customers for its trading software in Russia, the Middle East and China, and Pipeline Engineering at Catterick Bridge which was helped to export to Africa and research markets in Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Two very small firms in Leyburn have also used the service. Barber Healthcare, which makes disposable gloves, was supported in establishing links with customers in Asia, and Discovery Team market research was assisted to win orders in France.

Take a look at the Exporting is GREAT website – www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk. There are almost 2,000 export opportunities listed there like the ones mentioned at the beginning of this article. What the list proves is the demand around the world for British brands. Our products are sought after, often because they are considered premium brands. If someone in China – the biggest producer of tea in the world – thinks there is a market for British-blended tea there, what other opportunities might there be?

As part of the export campaign, an Export Hub truck is touring the country providing information, one-to-one meetings with export experts and a Skype room to speak direct to overseas advisors. I’m hoping to bring it to North Yorkshire later this year.

One final point. All those products I highlighted earlier – tea, relishes, beef and offal, and pet and equine products – are made here in North Yorkshire. Who says they couldn’t be sold the world over?