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International Trade Seminar - #FoSB

  • Grant Thornton 2 Glass Wharf Bristol, BS2 0EL (map)

The Future Economy Network is proud to be presenting this seminar with subscribers and sponsors Prolectric. They will be joined by the West of England Mayor, Osborne Clarke and the Department for International Trade.

Sustainability is something that can be hard to achieve when looking at expanding from being a national to international. What have businesses learned on their journey from going ‘local to global’? What considerations need to be made around international transportation of goods?

Chaired by Chris Williams, Managing Director, Prolectric

Sabrina Silva, Sales & Marketing, Prolectric: Experience of European market entry from an SME perspective

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor: The role of Sustainable Business in the development of the West of England Economy

Andrew Fraser, International Trade Adviser, Department for International Trade: What can the Department of International Trade offer companies who want to start or grow their international business

Andrew Fraser will outline how the Department for International Trade (DIT)  can help South West businesses who want to start or grow their international sales. The presentation will cover DIT services that are available e.g. research, finding new export opportunities, trade shows, missions, seminars as well as access to specialist export finance advice. DIT has representatives in over 100 markets overseas who can help and advise businesses on opportunities for their products and services.

Alan John, Partner, Osborne Clarke: Sustainability: a business imperative for successful business in the UK and internationally

For over 20 years Alan has headed the sustainable business group at Osborne Clarke, an international law firm established in Bristol 300 years ago. In his talk he hopes to share various highlights and challenges from that journey and the application and embedding of sustainability principles as the business has expanded internationally, emphasising how sustainability is no longer an optional extra for businesses looking to succeed locally and globally.


9:30 – 9:55 – Registration and tea & coffee

9:55 – 10:00 – Introduction from The Future Economy Network

10:00 – 10:20 – Sabrina Silva, Prolectric

10:20 – 10:40 – Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor

10:40 – 11:00 – Andrew Fraser, Department for International Trade

11:00 – 11:20 – Alan John, Osborne Clarke

11:20 – 11:55 – Panel Discussion

11:55 – 12:00 – Closing remarks

12:00 – 12:30 – Networking

After 12:30 – Visit exhibition and have lunch at Millennium Square (see below)


As part of your ticket, you will receive a lunch voucher to exchange at our Sustainable Food Zone at Millennium Square.


Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor

Tim was elected as the first Mayor for the West of England on May 4, 2017. During his career, he has combined international business roles with public service in the West of England. Born in East Africa, and raised in Somerset, before settling in Winterbourne, he has international experience working in business development, exports, sales and marketing. Having worked with small and medium-sized enterprises and global players, he is committed to supporting businesses of all sizes to achieve their full potential. His business background means he is passionate about the need to promote the West of England and its unique offering, including its global connections and a highly-skilled workforce, nationally and internationally. Before his election as Mayor, Tim was part of South Gloucestershire Council’s leadership team, working across the organisation with particular focus on policy and resources. He was also a parish councillor, and chairman of Winterbourne Parish Council for many years. He served 12 years as a governor of one of the largest secondary schools in the region, which led to his passionate belief that children should be encouraged to reach their full potential from a young age. He also sees lifelong skills development for all as essential to driving economic growth in the region. On a personal level, Tim is committed to promoting the work of the Alzheimer’s Society and encouraging more people and organisations to sign up to become Dementia Friends. He is a very active member of his local community. 

Andrew Fraser, International Trade Adviser, Department for International Trade

Andrew Fraser is an International Trade Adviser for the Department for International Trade (DIT).  DIT provide expert trade advice and practical support to UK based companies wishing to grow their business overseas. Andrew has over 25 years’ experience working in international trade. His career started with Unilever in domestic and export sales of marine products.  Since then he has worked in international marketing and business development in the Healthcare and Food and Drink sectors and has particular experience in Europe, USA, Latin America, India, the Far East and Japan. Before joining DIT he ran his own business consultancy aimed at helping client companies with new product development and developing sales overseas.

Alan John, Partner, Osborne Clarke

Alan has headed the firm's sustainable business group for 20 years. The group encourages sustainable behaviour and business practices and comprises enthusiastic and committed staff volunteers who work to minimise Osborne Clarke's impact on the environment and its energy and other resource use. The group runs awareness raising events and initiatives through the year, oversees sustainability aspects of Osborne Clarke's procurement policy, monitors performance against targets and reports to the firm's executive board to help ensure environmental sustainability is embedded in the firm's culture and strategy as it continues to expand its international operations across Europe, the Far East and the US. Alan is a partner in the firm’s environment and energy group, with a focus on providing legal advice to clients in the renewable energy sector. He has 30 years’ experience working for clients across the renewables technologies, including wind, solar, biomass, water, landfill gas, energy from waste and anaerobic digestion. Holistic advice on climate change, sustainability and low-carbon business is a core part of his practice, which encompasses waste management, contaminated land and environmental protection in corporate and property transactions. He has particular specialisms in energy management and storage, power and heat purchase agreements and private wire, reserve power and ancillary services arrangements. Alan is a director of Regen, the independent centre of sustainable energy expertise and is company secretary of FareShare South West, an organisation that redistributes surplus food from the food and drink industry to a network of groups in and around Bristol that work with disadvantaged and vulnerable local people.

Sabrina Silva, Sales & Marketing, Prolectric

Sabrina joined Prolectric on September 2018 for a 6-month internship as part of her Masters’ in International Business and was subsequently offered a full time role to assist with the implementation of Prolectric’s international growth strategy. Born in Switzerland and raised in Portugal, she understands the impact of culture when conducting international business.  She has lived in Switzerland for 10 years and Portugal for 11 years and now lives in the South West of England.  Sabrina has a passion for both languages and business that led her do her Masters that combines both.

Chris Williams, Managing Director, Prolectric

Chris Williams is an experienced environmental business leader, who in the past three years has led the rapid growth of Prolectric through effective repositioning of the company.  Prior to Prolectric, Chris was Chief Operating Officer of Hydro International plc, a publicly listed environmental goods business operating in the water sector, where he was a key member of the executive board delivering growth from £6m to £30m during his board tenure.  Chris was a board member of British Water and also sat on the governments Water Sector Advisory Group to advise government on the UK water sector export strategy. Chris’ pioneering approach to introducing new, sustainable products is based on a belief that they should also clearly demonstrate robust cost and efficiency benefits. This approach has ensured rapid acceptance of the renewable technologies he has championed.

The Future Economy Group are working with carbon offset provider, The Converging World to calculate Festival attendee’s carbon footprint. Attendees for the seminars have the option to add this to their ticket price when completing their Eventbrite booking, with a suggested donation of £1 per attendee. It is hoped that this will help those attending to consider their carbon footprint in their everyday activities. For those who decide against offsetting their carbon, The Future Economy Group will make their payment. All payments will be made to our chosen charity, The Converging World. Find out more information here.

We will share your Name, Job Title & Company with the other delegates & speakers to this event only.

If you don’t want this information to be shared please let us know when you have purchased your ticket.

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