Headlines: September 3rd, 1998

Embassy staff can now use the internet to put foreign sales leads directly
onto the desk of a British company looking for business.

The information goes onto a National Exporters Database (NED). Any UK
firm can register on the NED, free of charge.

Launching the project, Brian Wilson, Minister for Trade said: “The whole
package harnesses the potential of the internet to put buyers and sellers
in touch. The new service allows buyers to have their needs broadcast
directly to appropriate UK firms. My message to business is, if you have
not signed up for these services you are missing out. ”

Embassy staff are a major source of sales leads for UK exporters. Now, they
can email details of leads, market pointers or public interest information
onto the service. Each lead is automatically matched to the profiles of UK
companies held on the system and e-mailed out, enabling firms to respond
quickly to export opportunities.

John Gifford of Southampton-based Griffon Hovercraft Limited, won a
contract to supply hovercrafts to Brazil using the previous paper-based
service. He said: “The Internet and e-mail are the business tools of the
future. This is a service I would commend to any UK business whether they
are already involved in exporting or thinking of looking at overseas
markets. It will provide you with the sort of key information you need to
know before visiting those markets.”

The database site address is: www.tradeuk.com