Leading North East Business Support Hub Enters New Markets

Issue 67

An organisation which supports the growth and progress of SMEs across the North East has made a first-of-its-kind trade agreement with Pakistan to help create opportunities for the region's businesses in the country

The deal, led by the SME Centre of Excellence, marks a groundbreaking moment for the North East in creating trade links with Pakistan and is set to create a host of unprecedented opportunities for the region’s business community as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The historic agreement with Pak-UK Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) mandates enhancement of business partnerships, an increase in bilateral trade, mutually-beneficial corporate engagements, modernises trade marketing practices, and accelerates the pace of bilateral investments and new ventures.

It also involves the Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce (GMCC) and will enable opportunities for businesses right across the North of England to establish new relationships with Pakistan and encourages increased levels of inbound and outbound trade from the UK. Ammar Mirza CBE, founder of the SMECoFE, attended a virtual event to sign the agreement, and told the delegation of the pivotal role being played by organisation to support the North East region’s SME businesses. Having initially been established in 2016 in Ponteland, Northumberland, the service – which offers comprehensive and bespoke support to growing businesses from any sector – has gone on to support hundreds of ventures throughout the region. Late last year, it was behind the creation of the Tees Valley Business Hub, to deliver dedicated support to the Tees business community.

“This unique opportunity with Pakistan is very exciting for the North East and our SME community,” says Ammar. “For years, we have dedicated ourselves to offering support to growing businesses across the region, giving the right advice at the right time for each individual business.

“SME CoFE has brought together leaders in their field to provide the bespoke and relevant support businesses need, supporting their growth ambitions pre-COVID and enabling them to survive, recover and thrive in the world we live in today. “This agreement with Pakistan is the latest in our wholly innovative approach – we realise the potential of the North East and our business community on a global scale and will do everything we can to help our thriving ventures achieve their potential by opening new doors for them. “We are already supporting businesses to access these opportunities through the SME CoFE and Tees Valley Business Hub, and would be delighted to extend this opportunity even further. We look forward to welcoming new businesses to our networks and enabling them to see the many opportunities that could be on offer for them.”

Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi and the Trade Director for Pakistan, said of the new agreement with the SME CoFE and the GMCC: “It will enable businesses from both countries to explore trade and investment opportunities, engage with each other more frequently through visits and webinars, and raise the profiles of the many thousands of companies in both regions.

“I am excited at the prospects and potential that this partnership will help unlock.”

Sign-up to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.