Overseas Business Network Initiative

Contact details
For more information, email Susana.cordoba@gmchamber.co.uk

Launched in late 2012 by the Prime Minister, the Overseas Business Networks Initiative aims to transform the support available for British SMEs seeking to do business in high-growth, hard-to-access markets across the world.


It is a crucial part of the drive to double the UK’s annual exports to £1 trillion and to increase the number of UK exporters by 100,000 by 2020.

The UK has great businesses. Yet our share of trade in high-growth markets is weaker than many of our key competitor countries. What’s more, our competitors offer a wider range of business support to their exporters in high-growth markets than the UK. They do this through strong private sector business networks, primarily Chambers of Commerce.

The Overseas Business Networks Initiative responds to this challenge, by strengthening the capability of the UK’s own global business-to-business support network.

The initiative brings together overseas British Chambers and business groups in 41 markets worldwide – facilitated and led by a partnership of the British Chambers of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In time, and with sustained investment from both the UK government and the private sector, this initiative will develop a strong and practical platform for UK exporting – focused directly on the needs of UK businesses seeking to succeed in markets across the globe. Through the initiative, UK businesses will benefit from:

  • Better practical information on business opportunities in new markets
  • Services, support and advice on the ground in-market
  • Office space in British Business Centres in some countries, and
  • A global British business support network, operating at home and overseas

Piloting underway in Overseas Chambers and business groups in hard to access, high growth markets:

  • ASIA: China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, Pakistan, Kazakhstan
  • MIDEAST: UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
  • EUROPE: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Turkey
  • AFRICA: Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania
  • LATIN AMERICA: Colombia, Mexico, Chile

For more information about this initiative, please contact: Susana.cordoba@gmchamber.co.uk