Pioneering approach to helping firms trade overseas lands Business West top international award

April 24, 2024

The international trade team at regional business organisation Business West has been recognised in a major awards scheme for its use of digital innovation.

The 21-strong team of trade specialists, which helps firms across the UK growth through successful overseas trading, has become known over recent years for consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation in exporting.  

That track record earned the team the title of Best Industry Champion at the International Chamber of Commerce and Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation Awards 2024.

The accolade, presented at a recent ceremony at Lincoln’s Fields, London, ranks Business West – which also runs Bath Chamber of Commerce – alongside industry giants such as HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Standard Chartered.

The Business West team, led by head of international trade services Catherine Stephens and supported by the strategic direction of commercial director James Monk, has proactively adopted and implemented digital technologies in trade processes for many years. 

It has already helped Business West accomplish significant milestones, including processing Europe's first blockchain-based certificate of origin and pioneering the world’s first complete journey of a digital ATA carnet, or ‘passport for goods’, pictured

These initiatives not only set new benchmarks in digital trade but also underscored Business West’s commitment to enhancing the accuracy, speed and security of trade documentation and transactions.

This July it will launch a digital verification system for preference and rules of origin. Called Genesis, it will reduce the risks associated with human error and fraud, paving the way for a more transparent and reliable global trade ecosystem.

Catherine, pictured with James collecting their award, said she was “immensely proud” of the team's efforts in digital trade.

“Winning against such industry heavyweights as HSBC and Lloyds Bank is a testament to our dedication to innovation and excellence,” she added.

“By leading in adopting cutting-edge technologies, we are committed to working towards a more efficient and secure global trade system for everyone.”

James added: “As we celebrate this award, we reaffirm our dedication to fostering a vibrant and interconnected global trade environment.

“We are immensely proud of our team’s hard work and innovation, and we are excited about the future possibilities as we continue to lead in digital trade advancements.”


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