The UK Trade and Investment organization recently promoted an American Electronics Association venture forum held at the Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee on March 15 -16.

Representatives of local high-tech companies met with experts from the organization’s Global Partnership Programme and learned of the services that the UK Trade and Investment offers to businesses seeking to enter international markets from the United Kingdom.

“We often work with smaller companies without a traditional route to the international market,” said Glen Whitley, consul-investment for UK Trade and Investment who works with the program in Atlanta.

The program targets U.S. technologically-based businesses that are interested in developing their long-term potential and expanding into international markets, he said.

It works with businesses to determine how the enterprise wants to develop and then provides those clients with contacts and potential corporate partners within the UK. The program “reduces the risk” of small U.S. businesses and facilitates a successful transition into the international market, he said.

A motor-sport company based in Los Angeles, a life science-related company out of Houston, and a battery company in New York have all had successful interaction with the program, according to its Web site at

While the program seeks out high-tech companies, mainly in life sciences, software and communications, it is open to helping enterprises in other sectors as well. “We just have to get the word out there, so that they can contact us,” said Mr. Whitley.

He also said that there are no special qualifications for a company to work with the program. The company must just have the “ability and cash to operate a business,” and be ready to expand internationally, he added.

The UK is a good location for many U.S. companies to expand into European markets, as both countries share the same language, and have similar labor and legal systems, he said. In addition, taxes in the UK are generally lower than the rest of continental Europe. “I hate to use a cliché,” he said, ” but the UK is really the gateway to Europe.”

The program originated from an effort to sponsor bilateral trade between the U.S. and the UK where American knowledge-based technology could be matched to the “entreprenuership expertise” of the UK, he said.

The AeA is a high-tech trade association that offers its members venture forums like this one held at the Reynolds Plantation, in addition to “advocacy, training and research.” More information about AeA can be found at

To find out more about the UK’s Global Partnership Programme, contact Mr. Whitley at the British Consulate General at (404) 954-7730 or visit