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Durham Tees Valley Airport chiefs have today underlined the importance to the area’s export opportunities of links to the worldwide air transport network. Speaking today at the North East launch of  Export Week, held at the airport, Peter Nears, Strategic Planning Director with the Peel Group, described the Tees Valley as the ‘engine room’ of the North East, contributing £10billion a year to the UK economy and being home to 30 per cent of the country’s process industries.

The ‘Be Part of Export for Growth’ event , supported by the airport and Tees Valley Unlimited, marked the start of a weeklong programme of events aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises and organised by Government’s UK Trade and Investment department. 

Said Peter Nears “We are delighted to host the launch of Export Week in the region because it demonstrates the contribution our area makes to both the regional and national economies—and the central role of the airport in driving forward the economic growth of the Tees Valley. “Exports are vital to that growth with so many of our companies operating on an international, indeed worldwide, basis—both in terms of their markets and, in many instances, their ownership.

“That’s why connections to services across the globe are so crucial and why the airport, with its highly-valued three-times-a-day service to the international hub at Schiphol airport, is central to ensuring our businesses are able to maximise their export opportunities. Mr Nears also stressed the importance of the Government’s aviation policy recognising the role of regional airports and understanding that the need for a realistic tax and duty regime. He called for a ‘joined-up’ approach across Government departments, adding that aviation policy ‘must not be just about capacity in the South East.’