One hundred business chiefs have attended a summit to help Sheffield Council develop its economic policies.
The firms told how exports and international trade could support growth.
Views expressed will be used to help put together a new Economic Strategy by Creative Sheffield, the economic arm of Sheffield Council.
The council aims to work with UK Trade and Investment, the Government agency charged with attracting overseas investment, South Yorkshire International Trade Centre and South Yorkshire International Trade Forum.
The summit brought together a panel of experts on international trade including David Riches, commercial director at the British Chambers of Commerce, Mark Robson, international trade director at UK Trade and Investment and Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.
Local business owners Jane Stammers of Tipple Tails and William Beckett of William Beckett Plastics, also the chairman of the South Yorkshire International Trade Forum, spoke about their own experiences.