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From the President

When I last wrote I was congratulating Peter Howe on steering us through a recession with a dropping stock market and uncertainty all around. Listening to the media over the past weeks one could be forgiven for thinking "here we go again". Certainly most OEMs I have spoken to are justifiably nervous - but I'm not qualified to comment on the current economics of the world and I would be the last person you should ask to predict our future. What is evident is the power of the media to shape what happens next. Let us hope that positive reporting, in conjunction with prudent financial support, will calm down the hysteria. It is times like these that the differences between small and large businesses are highlighted. In the multinationals there are people dedicated to analysing every move of the government, stock markets and trading around the world. These people are paid to worry. In many smaller businesses, and remember in the UK that is the majority of businesses, the day-to-day pressures mean that we do not often have time to worry about the bigger picture. What we see are the things that directly affect our businesses, order intake, cash flow, manufacturing supply and our workforce. This makes us both insulated but also vulnerable.

Plummeting share prices affect the value of our customers but not the price of the goods they buy. What we should be wary of is having all our eggs in one basket. That could mean trading in the UK only. I will not apologise for repeating this message. The CEA has decades of

experience in helping its members onto the export trail. Joanna Oliver didn't receive an MBE as our Director of Global Programmes just because she has run a few international exhibitions for the CEA. It was awarded because of the results we have achieved. It is disappointing that more members do not take advantage of the exhibitions, seminars and trade missions that we run. Some of the countries that we visit are daunting, best don't go out in parts of Sao Paulo, but make sure you're on the trade mission because you will meet people who can change your company and protect you against fluctuations of the home economy. How about meeting the Plant Manager who has a $1 billion annual spend for plant? What about the Purchasing Director of the multinational mining company who is buying product to be used in 20 countries? Of course you could travel to these countries on your own and attempt to make these appointments, but by joining a trade mission with the CEA you get to meet senior people who can make a difference, you will get the background on the market, you'll get local knowledge and never underestimate who else might be on a mission. Finally, it isn't just the small companies on trade missions - one of our biggest component supplier companies came on a mission and managed to meet the CEO of a company that they had failed to engage for a number of years. Dust off your passport and chat to Joanna.

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CEA Management Council

President: Nick Ground GKD Technik Ltd

1st Vice President: Brian Heathcote Terex Construction

2nd Vice President: Yvette Henshall-Bell JCB Sales Ltd

Colin Wakeham Bell Equipment UK Ltd

David Redhead

BSP International Foundations Ltd

Robert Droogleever Caterpillar (UK) Ltd

Mike Hawkins CNH UK Ltd

Rory Keogh

Gomaco International Ltd

Gerald Pratt

Hewitt Robins International Ltd

Peter Howe Komatsu UK Ltd

Nigel Baseley Perkins Engine Co Ltd

Paul Ross Ricardo plc

Keith Dolbear TriMark Europe Ltd

Val Ledden Volvo Construction Equipment Ltd Nick Ground CEA President

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