Master’s mission to Dubai a ‘success’

Master Cutler Richard Edwards, fourth from left, and ITF chair William Beckett, fouth from right, with the mission team in Dubai.
Master Cutler Richard Edwards, fourth from left, and ITF chair William Beckett, fouth from right, with the mission team in Dubai.

The Master Cutler’s trade mission to Dubai has been hailed a ‘great success’ after good contacts were made - and at least three companies won business.

Six firms travelled in a party led by the Master Richard Edwards who chose the gulf stage due to the “uncertainty of our European export markets looming large.”

They explored new avenues for manufacturers, and had a tour of Doncaster firm Polypipe’s giant factory - but the main aim was to seek opportunities from the global trade fair: Expo 2020.

The event was organised by the Sheffield-based International Trade Forum, one of the few private sector organisations organising overseas missions for members.

Mr Edwards said: “This Cutlers’ Company-led initiative is one of many which shows that we, in this region, are up for a challenge and we need to ensure that this message is passed on continuously, loud and clear, particularly in these uncertain times.

“I am sure there are many who were disappointed at being unable to join us, but we all need to be active and seek opportunities to expand their horizons.”

The group included past Master, Craig McKay of Evenort, Tim Jewitt of Footprint Tools, Jonathan Pankethman and Dan Stephenson of Pryor Marking Technology, Alasdair Boag and Keith Rixon of Dymet Alloys and Ken Torres of Torres Engineering and Pumps.

Even before setting out, Mr Torres made contact with the international oil field services company Weatherfords in Dubai to discuss supplying high pressure pumps.

He met their engineering manager to finalise the purchase soon after landing.

William Beckett, chair of the International Trade Forum, said: “The presentation at the British Centres for Business on the Sunday morning gave us an insight into the unique services they offer companies to set up a base, which are more extensive than those offered by traditional British embassies and chambers of commerce in foreign markets.

“Polypipe took us to their technical centre where they told us about how they had established themselves in the UAE. They also took us to their new manufacturing facility and we were in awe of the scale of their operation.

“Their hospitality and interest in supporting the companies on our mission was exemplary and reinforced the benefit of going as a group which organises such meetings.

“Of equal importance is the networking and support from fellow travellers which for many was a steep learning curve in this exciting market.”