Stoke Staffs LEP
Overseas trade success for Staffordshire business

Overseas trade success for Staffordshire business

Investment from outside the UK in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire created or safeguarded over 1,000 jobs in the area over the last financial year, according to Government figures.

Local enterprise partnership chairman David Frost said the figures demonstrated how attracting overseas investment and driving up exports was vital to the local economy.

The figures released by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) show there were 11 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) successes in 2013/14, leading to the creation of 974 jobs and safeguarding a further 50.

This week, David met with delegates from an Indonesian clothing manufacturer which has been a customer of a Stafford-based business for nearly 10 years. The visit had been organised with UKTI and included civic leaders.

PT Metro Garmin is a supplier of clothing to many of the leading names on the UK high street. In 2005 it bought its first batch of seam tape from ATF Textiles, based in Milford near Stafford, and has been trading with the company ever since. The innovative product gives clothing a quality easy-care finish.

Company director Tony McNulty said: “Some time ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a formal reception held in honour of the Indonesian president during a state visit to the UK. The president spoke about the special and growing trade relationship between the two countries and the effort we should all make to encourage, promote and foster this valuable trading relationship. He reminded me that the UK had so much to offer and Indonesia much to gain if small and medium sized businesses on both sides could get together. This struck at the very heart of ATF’s business strategy. We believe that good personal relationships supported by sound commercial practices are key to the promotion of business objectives.”

Hendar Gunawan, general manager of PT Metro Garmin, said: “Our work is certainly made easier thanks to our relationship with ATF Textiles. In 2005 we were making 20,000 garments a month – now we’re making 800,000.”

David Frost said: “The hugely successful relationship between these two companies highlights how overseas trade and investment can really boost business on both sides. Each has their own expertise and brining this together has certainly paid off. “ATF’s success shows exporting can work for businesses of all sizes and this is something that the LEP is keen to promote. Any perceived barriers can be overcome with support from organisations like UKTI and I would urge businesses to find out more. This can make a real difference to our economy and lead to further job creation.”

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