BCA Trade and Business Focus Group

Our vision is to be: A key Commonwealth Trading House for our funders, partners, businesses and the community. We aim to accelerate significant trading with the Commonwealth and inclusive growth. We recognise that profits are essential in order to create capital for relentless growth, prosperity, opportunity, and employment.

 Our goals are to:

  • Support enterprise and business development
  • Attract inward investment and foreign direct investment
  • Enhance trade links with Birmingham businesses
  • Exploit new markets particularly but not exclusively in Birmingham’s key growth sectors including advanced engineering, financial services and life sciences
  • Develop the city’s trade and research connections to support competitiveness and growth
  • Draw on local government networks and connections to add value to the initiative chosen






Chair of the Trade and Business Focus Group

Martin Levermore, MBE, FRSA, Chartered MCISI and founder and Chief Executive of Medical Devices Technology International



The Focus Group comprises:

  • Aidem Digital
  • Birmingham Airport
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham City University
  • Department for International Trade
  • Ernst and Young
  • Forensic Pathways
  • International Synergies
  • Medical Devices Technology International
  • National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses




First ever BCA trade mission to Jamaica April 2016

The mission comprised:

Private sector – Medical Devices Technology International, Cleone Foods and Diamond Travel.

Public sector – UK Department of International Business (UKTI), British High Commission, Kingston, Birmingham City Council, Government of Jamaica, Kingston Municipal Corporation, Jamaican Exporters Association.

Academia – Birmingham City University, University of Technology, Jamaica and University of West Indies.


  • £10 million of export business for West Midlands` health care sector over next 5 years.
  • £1 million extension of Cleone Foods production and jobs in Birmingham.
  • Significant development of project to provide access to mobile clinics across Jamaica.
  • Outline agreement between Kingston Corporation and Birmingham City Council to share good practice around delivery of services to young people and disadvantaged citizens.
  • Donation of medical equipment to Princess Margaret Hospital.
  • Sharing of ideas and experience with counterpart – Kingston Commonwealth Association.
  • Birmingham City University is now working with the University of the West Indies to assist them in raising their research capacity and capability.



BCA Conference: Today’s Commonwealth: Exploring export opportunities

The BCA held its first conference on 18th October 2016.

From left to right: Kimberley-Jane Leary (Squibble Ltd.), Martin Levermore MBE (MDTi Ltd.) and Ian Stokes (StadiArena). Image by Poppy Brady.

Its principle focus was to educate and encourage attendees to explore the huge potential trading with the Commonwealth offers.  It also gave insight to SMEs on how to maximise their chances of success in foreign markets.

Speakers included: Sir John Peace, Chairman of the ‘Midlands Engine’: Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council: Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport and Chairman of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce together with Ruth Lea, CBE, economist and very knowledgeable on Commonwealth trade. All passionately spoke about the great opportunities for trading with the Commonwealth.

Our end of event feedback revealed that 97% of those then in attendance said the event was Good to Excellent with 41% saying Excellent. As to whether they would attend one of our Conferences again, 79% said yes with 17% understandably saying it depended upon the programme.

The BCA acknowledges that the UK government must do all it can to maintain the UK’s trade with the EU at the highest level possible. The Commonwealth is not an alternative but nevertheless, it does itself offer opportunities, profitable opportunities, with some countries in particular showing significant growth prospects.


BCA strategic partners:

Contact us:

For further information, write to distinctly-bca@birmingham.gov.uk.

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Supported by Birmingham City Council
The BCA is a branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society
Birmingham Commonwealth Association Ltd, Registered in England and Wales, Co No. 9959637
Reg office: Wick Episcopi, Upper Wick, Rushwick, Worcestershire, WR2 5SY
Email: office@birminghamcommonwealthassociation.com