Press Releases


Rhode Island Trade Mission to UK Announced

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, in partnership with the United Kingdom, the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University, and the Small Business Association, is announcing a trade mission to the UK in September 2016.

The trade mission is designed to help boost exports from Rhode Island to the UK. The visit to London and other key British regions from September 19-25, 2016 will involve tailored match-making meetings for delegate businesses to increase export opportunities. The mission will be planned with significant input from local advisers, banks, government trade contacts and consultants to ensure a prosperous transatlantic collaboration.

The trip will be led by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in concert with the Rhode Island District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University. The week-long trade visit has the backing of the SBA, the UK Government trade body UKTI, the British American Business Council, Santander, and Great British Marketing.

"It is critical for the State's economy that we expand our trade horizons and increase sales of Rhode Island products and services overseas, especially to the UK, which is one of our biggest potential export markets," said Ray Fogarty, Director, Chafee Center.

"The barriers to exporting, even for small and medium sized businesses, are reducing with technology and globalization, and there is plenty of support to help businesses look for opportunities beyond America's borders. The SBA encourages Rhode Island entrepreneurs interested in expanding into global markets to explore the opportunity of this really important trade mission," said Mark Hayward, District Director, SBA.

Companies from every sector are encouraged to apply for the trade mission. In particular, small- and medium- sized businesses are encouraged to consider the mission, as they often have the most immediate opportunity to grow quickly on export orders.

Susie Kitchens, Consul General at the British Consulate General in Boston, has welcomed the initiative, lending the support of the UKTI trade teams in Boston and across the UK. "The USA is the UK's number one trade partner, and we are keen to promote more trade with Rhode Island. There are some great synergies and transatlantic business opportunities for firms who join this trade mission," she said.

Commerce, with its partners, will serve as a guide throughout the trip, helping participating Rhode Island companies gain valuable market insights in the UK, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects. The trip is funded through a cooperative agreement with the SBA.

In preparation for the mission, Commerce is hosting a "Market Overview and Opportunities in the UK" seminar on May 10 from 8:00 AM to 11:00AM. Speakers will include Spencer Mahony, Executive Vice President, North America, OCO Global and Kirsten Chambers-Taylor, Consul and Head of UK Trade & Investment, New England.

Rhode Island companies interested in participating in the UK trade mission or the May 10th event should contact Kathy Therieau, Director of International Trade Programs at Commerce at or (401) 278-9139.

Related links

Share this: