UK and US Technology Firms Meet in First Virtual Trade Mission
Transatlantic Partnership to Reinforce Trade and Investment Ties with Three Week Program

September 16, 2002

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- British and American global technology companies will bring the term "network" alive next week when they launch the first Virtual Trade Mission between the two countries from September 23 to October 11.

Spearheaded by Invest-UK, the British Embassy's investment arm, and TradeBuilders Inc., and sponsored by a host of public and private organizations, the program takes the continuing ties between the two countries to new innovative heights.

UK Minister for Trade and Investment, Baroness Symons said, "This pioneering effort will provide British technology companies with a unique opportunity to network and build new business relationships with the US from the convenience of any computer with Internet access. This trade mission is a good example of the UK's longstanding commitment to strong trade and investment relations with the United States."

Maria Cino, Director General of the U.S. Commercial Service, commented, "Virtual Trade Missions are an excellent first step for companies seeking qualified international contacts and market information. We're proud to have this in the U.S. Commercial Service's portfolio of export assistance services. The UK is an important trading partner and ally and we hope that this Virtual Trade Mission will help to forge new business relations between our two countries."

The Virtual Trade Mission, aimed at high-level company executives, has the same objective as its traditional counterpart -- bringing together potential overseas partners and investors. However it all takes place online, in facilitated chat rooms and expert discussion groups, assisted by a directory of participants and a library of resources. Participants will have access to notable experts from the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, the law and accountancy firm of Oury Clark, and the South East England Development Agency. Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in an October 4 Sonic Telecom video conference between the UK and the International Gateway in Washington, DC.

According to Chris Rossi, VP of Sales for Virgin Atlantic Airways, "This virtual trade mission will help lay the groundwork for successful future meetings among US and UK executives. It is a great avenue for companies to conduct preliminary research to understand the potential of a foreign market."

Dave Feldman, Vice Consul, Invest-UK said, "We expect participating companies of all sizes to use this efficient form of executive-level networking to secure business and the resources they need for success."

Participants will have access to potential partners, integrators, buyers, suppliers, and investors in solutions such as financial services technology, cyber and data security, data mining technology, and eGovernment solutions. Firms wishing to apply should visit: .

UK Organizers include Invest-UK, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Trade Partners UK, London First Centre, The North of England, and the Welsh Development Agency.

US Organizers include TradeBuilders Inc., The Greater Washington Board of Trade's International Gateway and the Greater Washington Initiative, U.S. Commercial Service, Washington DC Technology Council, Software & Information Industry Association, British-American Business Association, and Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

About Invest-UK

Invest-UK is the British Government's worldwide economic development agency, helping U.S. companies set up or expand in the UK.

About TradeBuilders, Inc.

TradeBuilders, Inc. works with its clients to create powerful new trade and investment opportunities among businesses and governments all over the world.

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