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Business & Economy

Collaboration a top priority as Trade Group strategy unveiled

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has signalled its continued commitment to driving collaboration within the region’s automotive sector, with the unveiling of its Trade Group strategy for 2021.

Established in 2019, as a result of the NEAA advisory board’s five-year strategy review, the Trade Group supports member needs in relation to trade activity through networking, collaboration and shared best practice.

Its 2021 strategy has been formulated using updated intelligence received from a member survey that revealed 100% of respondents benefitted from group initiatives and 94% gained value from networking with likeminded individuals.

The updated strategy includes sharing best practice, support with the latest industry challenges in relation to trade and identifying, facilitating, and understanding funding opportunities for overseas trade missions. With only 58% of members having a strategy for international expansion, the group also plans to support companies with developing a new trade strategy.

Within the 2021 plans, the group will look to showcase the positive impact it has provided members to date, with a view to attracting new companies who can add further value.

A notable example of success is the member collaboration between GT Group and global logistics specialist, ThinkPrime. The latter came to the aid of GT Group, helping to expedite the release of urgently needed goods held up at Heathrow by HM customs. As a result of its knowledge and experience of HM Customs’ operating procedures, ThinkPrime helped to quickly unlock the delay and ensure the goods reached GT Group.

Chris Black, global sales director of automotive business development at TR Fastenings and chair of the Trade Group, said: “The group brings together member companies to help one another when it comes to trade and export. TR Fastenings has proudly been part of the group since its formation in 2019. We have shared experience, knowledge, and best practice with members to assist them with growth and international expansion plans. TR Fastenings has, itself, greatly benefited from collaborating with fellow NEAA members on a number of trade related subjects.

“We are now in a position where we can showcase the benefits of being part of the group and 2021 is really about highlighting these, as well as getting companies ready to maximise future trade missions and face-to-face events.”

Rohan Kohli, project manager at the NEAA, said: “The Trade Group has gone from strength-to-strength in terms of member participation and we are now starting to see the real impact from our activity.

“Continuing to strengthen engagement and momentum going forward, is a key priority. We have been very proactive in supporting members over the past year with regards to current challenges and the changing landscape. The strategy for 2021 is to document and showcase the significant impact the group has made, continue to share experiences and support members in growing their export business in key regions.

“We encourage organisations who are exporting, or those with export intentions, to get in touch to discuss the benefits the group can offer. If there is one thing the past year has shown us, it’s that we can achieve more by working together.”

The NEAA was established to support the economic growth and competitiveness of the automotive sector in the North East by providing a single unified voice to key stakeholder groups. It also promotes the value created by the region’s automotive industry.