UK Trade competition kicks off in Brisbane

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has kicked off its UK Market Entry (UK-ME) business competition in Brisbane this week to help Australian companies expand into the United Kingdom, Europe and the world.

The companies are vying to win business support packages that include British Airways return airfares to London, meetings with potential business partners, introductions to business networks, a free limited company and ongoing UKTI support.

Speaking at the event, Sarina Russo Job Access Chief Executive Kevin Ayre outlined his experiences of expanding the company into the UK.

"The last 12 months have been very challenging and it's wonderful to have the support of UK Trade & Investment. When we started in the UK people said Sarina Russo! Wow that's lovely," Ayre says.

"It's only just now they can see our point of difference in training and job creation. Let me tell you it's been a learning curve," he says.

Sarina Russo Job Access spread its wings in the UK in October 2009 and has already opened 15 offices and directly employs over 100 staff.

UKTI's Inward Investment Manager for Queensland and Northern Territory, John Williams, has welcomed the amount of interest in the competition.

"It's been fantastic to see that so many Queensland companies have entered the UK ME competition already, I've already seen a few companies that I think stand a great chance of taking home the major prizes," Williams says.

The UK is Australia's fifth largest two-way trading partner and last year Australia ranked seventh globally for the number of businesses which set up in the UK.

The Queensland winners of the UK-Market Entry competition will be announced on November 12 at a finale event in Brisbane.