BHETA visit to Slovenia sets precedent

An export mission to Slovenia last month organised by the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) proved such a success that it will form the model for similar future events.

The initiative, which took place from October 8 to October 10 in Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana included a networking conference, a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, a tour of key retail stores, a brewery visit and tickets to the Scotland v. Slovenia Word Cup qualifier.

The proceedings brought together retailers and distributors from across the Balkan States, with UK suppliers from the home improvement, utility housewares (storage, laundry, and cleaning) and garden markets.

Organised by the British-Slovenian Chamber of Commerce, the mission included discussions on Brexit, a presentation by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and a resume of opportunities for doing business in Slovenia and the Balkans. The region is serviced by home improvement retailers including Merkur, Topdom, OBI and Bauhaus, among others.

BHETA home improvement sector director Paul Grinsell commented: “This was a productive visit. Not only were the collective events excellent, but individual delegates were able to take advantage of one-on-one conversations, resulting in some very positive leads.

“It was also great news that the leading home improvement retailer, Merkur, has agreed to come to the UK and speak at a future BHETA forum, to go into more detail about its desire to trade with UK suppliers.”

BHETA members joining Paul on the mission were Gorilla Glue, Dualit, STV Pest Control, Stand Safe, Benross Group and Croydex.

The trip is the first of a series of events organised since the formation of BHETA’s export committee to drive initiatives in support of export opportunities throughout the BHETA membership.

The committee is working with the DIT (Department for International Trade) and the international Chambers of Commerce to explore opportunities for overseas missions such as this one, along with international shows, and grant availability.

Will Jones, housewares sector director of BHETA and a member of the export committee, added: “The home market is currently challenging – and export is an important potential diversification. BHETA’s planned programme of overseas assistance is very exciting and we are looking to offer more trips to members with similar added value and an achievable price.” An export visit to Romania is already scheduled for April 2018.

For more information about, BHETA membership and the BHETA Export Committee, contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or visit the BHETA website www.bheta.co.uk.

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