The Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP) has welcomed the appointment of an Export Manager to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city-region make the most of opportunities to do business abroad.

Christos Kottis has joined the Department of International Trade (DIT) North West as Export Manager for Greater Manchester. Kottis will be part of the DIT North West team at the Growth Company, a strategic partner to DIT which delivers international trade services to companies across the North West.

With 25 years of experience working for SMEs as well as larger businesses, Kottis’s international trade expertise has been gained across various industry sectors.

His role will involve engaging with SMEs across Greater Manchester to promote the opportunities on offer to both existing and new exporters to maximise their international trade volume, in line with the government’s vision for Global Britain.

The value of goods and services exported from Greater Manchester is an estimated £15bn per annum, with the potential to increase further, creating sustainable growth and quality jobs for the city-region.

Mike Blackburn, GM LEP board member, said: “It is great news that the government has invested in growing international trade opportunities for Greater Manchester businesses. This is another example of local partners working with national government to the benefit of businesses in our city-region.

“As a region we have done amazingly well to attract investment from across the world, and the next step in our Greater Manchester International Strategy will be to increase our levels of exports globally. We welcome the appointment of a dedicated Export Manager for our city-region and Christos will have our full support in his new role”.

Christos Kottis, Export Manager, Greater Manchester for DIT North West, said: “I am delighted to be part of this exciting project with DIT North West and the Growth Company.

“Working closely with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the GM LEP and other strategic partners, we are putting together an ambitious Export Plan to complement the new Greater Manchester International Strategy beyond 2021, taking advantage of our strategic enablers like decarbonisation, digital connectivity and city-region diplomacy.”