PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Aston Science Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2007/05/31 - A campaign to lure more companies from Finland, Sweden and Norway to set up in the West Midlands is gathering pace with 50 representatives from 32 companies visiting the region this week.
Advantage West Midlands has been working alongside partners including top Birmingham law firm Martineau Johnson, Warwick Science Park, UK Trade & Investment, Tenon, ROWAN, EBS, Handelsbanken and British Embassies in Scandinavia to create the Bridge to Growth project.
The project has worked to promote the region to more than 4,000 firms in Finland, Sweden and Norway over the past nine months and offers free access to tax, banking and legal advice, market analysis, sales development and office accommodation.
Following a series of events in Scandinavia promoting the West Midlands, the delegates have made a two-day visit to the West Midlands, hosted by Martineau Johnson at their Colmore Square offices in Birmingham.
David Gwyther, partner at Martineau Johnson, is also Consul for Sweden in the Midlands and a council member of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the UK.
In total there are 21 Finnish companies in the West Midlands, employing around 900 staff, 63 Swedish companies employing more than 5,000 workers and 14 Norwegian companies employing more than 300 staff.
The campaign is already reaping rewards with three companies already set up in the West Midlands and 12 more registered.
Alan Roden, Advantage West Midlands Inward Investment Manager, said: “While the West Midlands is home to more than 80 companies from Finland and Sweden, we believe there is strong potential for even more investment from that part of the world.
“I am delighted with the support the whole Bridge to Growth programme is getting from Martineau Johnson and from David Gwyther in particular.
“It would simply not work without the continued support of all our partners, which has seen three Nordic companies set up in the region recently and a further 12 register a UK company in anticipation.”
David Gwyther, partner at Martineau Johnson, said: “The company is 100 per cent committed to the Advantage West Midlands Bridge to Growth program, which has been successful beyond all expectations.
“For example, there were more than 150 delegates at a recent presentation in Finland and of the 340 delegates at the four Scandinavian presentations in April about 60 will be visiting the West Midlands to decide about investing here.
“This underlines the attraction of the West Midlands to business and has given us a chance to contribute to the health of the region while at the same time picking up dynamic new clients.”
Advantage West Midlands (advantagewm.co.uk) is involved in an ongoing campaign of inward investment with companies across the world and has a network of offices in the USA (Chicago, Boston, Washington DC and San Jose), Japan, India, Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium.
The West Midlands is home to around 2,300 foreign-owned firms employing more than 250,000 people – around one in ten of the region’s workforce.