Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Wales North America Business Council (WNA)

  The relationship between the UK and North America is changing in many fundamental ways. Globalisation has broken down geographical barriers allowing a strengthened source for investment and trade. The United States and Canada understand the concept of federalism extremely well and empathise with the constitutional change which has led to the creation of the National Assembly. The development of closer ties with North America is therefore essential to assist Wales in playing a stronger part in the growth of the UK economy.

  The WNA was set up in 1999 as a company limited by guarantee to promote such links and to further strengthen the trade and commercial network between the countries. It is a business network founded by the private and public sectors in Wales. The aims of the WDA are to assist its members through a range of services as follows:

    —  Opening doors to contacts, opportunities and professional advisers against a background of doing business in Wales and America.

    —  Facilitating the provision of information, in particular on key events on both sides of the Atlantic, helping members keep up to date with issues which are relevant to them and their businesses.

    —  Supporting North American businesses in Wales by introducing them to the Welsh/North American business network, to exchange experiences, obtain advice and provide a forum to develop strong investment and trade links.

    —  Providing Welsh companies with contact with North Americans in Wales for advice about doing business in North America and affording access to America's business network.

    —  Direct access to the services of British American Business Inc, which has 4,000 members in 33 centres across the UK and America and the Canada UK Chamber of Commerce, the foremost non-governmental authority on all aspects of trade and investment with Canada.

  The WNA's patrons are: the First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales, Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan MP AM, HE Philip Lader, the US Ambassador, the Hon Roy MacLaren, PC, High Commissioner for Canada in the UK. Founder members include Ford, NTL, Mitel, Dow Corning, Nice-Pak and Warwick International.

  The WNA is based in Wales with a North American chapter currently being set up, building on the contacts made through the WDA offices, WalesTrade International and the Consular offices there. High profile events in the market, such as the upcoming BABC conference in Cleveland, are assisting the further development of new business contacts.

  Other unique opportunities which have arisen as a result of the WNA's activities include the sponsorship of a lecture by Tom Peterson in Newport. Currently the WNA is bidding to host the 2002 British American Business Council Conference which has only been held once in the UK in London.

  The WNA represents the formalisation of ties between Welsh and American business with a minimum of bureaucracy as a member-driven organisation. It will enhance the efforts being made by both the WDA and the NAW to capture further investment and develop further ties with this important market.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 27 March 2001