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Trade Facilitation Commission Launches Initiative to Boost UK Exports and Foster Economic Growth



New Commission set up to help UK traders access international markets

LONDON, April 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Some 30,000 UK companies who exported goods in 2021 do not do so today. The Trade Facilitation Commission (TFC) has been established to bolster UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) global trade activity, addressing the current challenges where less than 10% of UK SMEs engage in goods exports, a third of GB importers are unsure of their customs duty payments and nearly half have experienced delays at the port.

Despite the potential for growth through international trade and mutual recognition agreements many UK SMEs face barriers ranging from complex regulations to limited resources, hindering their ability to engage in global trade activities effectively.  

“The Trade Facilitation Commission is dedicated to unlocking the potential of UK SMEs in the global market,” said Lord Agnew, Chairman of the TFC.

Robert Hardy co vice-Chairman added “Our initiatives aim to remove barriers, provide support, and equip SMEs with the tools and resources they need to succeed in international trade.”

Through a comprehensive approach, the TFC plans to implement various measures to facilitate trade and support SMEs, including:

  • Simplifying trade procedures and reducing bureaucratic hurdles to make global trade more accessible and efficient for SMEs.
  • Providing tailored assistance and guidance to SMEs, including access to market intelligence, trade finance, and trade training programs.
  • Strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders, including government agencies, industry associations, and trade promotion organisations, to coordinate efforts and maximise impact.
  • Leveraging technology to digitise trade processes, improve transparency, and enhance the competitiveness of UK SMEs in the global market.

“By fostering an environment conducive to trade, we not only empower businesses but also drive economic growth and prosperity for the nation as a whole,” said Shanker Singham, co vice-Chairman of TFC.

The launch of these initiatives underscores the TFC’s commitment to fostering a supportive environment for trade and driving inclusive economic growth. By empowering UK SMEs to expand their presence in global markets, the Commission aims to unlock new opportunities, drive innovation, and propel the nation towards greater prosperity.


About Trade Facilitation Commission

The Trade Facilitation Commission (TFC) is dedicated to promoting trade facilitation and supporting SMEs in the UK. With a focus on reducing trade barriers, enhancing competitiveness, and fostering economic growth, the TFC works closely with stakeholders to streamline trade processes and empower businesses to seize global opportunities. Through advocacy, policy initiatives, and capacity-building efforts, the Commission aims to create an enabling environment for trade and drive sustainable development across the UK.

About the Commissioners


Former Minister of State at the Cabinet Office (2020-2022) responsible for border readiness related to UK’s exit from the European Union.


Founder and CEO of the EORI Group of companies, specialising in simplified customs processes.  AIBF UK-Irish Business Person of the Year 2023.


One of the World’s leading experts on international trade, competition and regulatory reform.  Co-Chair of the Growth Commission.


Global Head of Trade and Customs at Maersk.  Former Director of World Customs Organisation and Director General of Swedish customs.


Former Director General of UK Border Force and Director of Borders Canada.  Awarded a CBE for vital role in delivering 2012 London Olympics. Chairman of IBMATA (Int Border Management and Technologies Association)


Former Director of Customs Transformation at HMRC. Associate of the Cabinet Office infrastructure and projects authority.


Leads the Digital Transformation team at IOE&IT, projects include Kenyan Single Trade Window, UK EcoSystem of Trust, Freeports as well as projects working with Europoort in the Netherlands


Director of Strategic Projects and International Development at IOE&IT (Institute of Export and International Trade).  Dean of the UK Customs Academy.


Former senior advisor to Michael Gove MP on Brexit Border Readiness.  Co-Founder of clearBorder a firm specialising in trade training.

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AXA named as an Official Partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025




AXA has proudly announced its support for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 as an Official Partner, furthering its sponsorship programme initiated in 2020. The prestigious event will take place in Switzerland from July 2 to 27, 2025.

Commitment to Women’s Football

This partnership underscores AXA’s dedication to promoting women’s football, building on its long-term support for the sport. Since 2020, AXA has been the main sponsor of the AXA Women’s Super League and the AXA Women’s Cup in Switzerland. By investing in women’s football, AXA aims to bolster women’s sports and promote its brand ethos, “Know You Can,” encouraging self-belief among its customers.

Statements from AXA Leaders

Fabrizio Petrillo, CEO of AXA Switzerland, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “I’m so excited to support UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 together with other European AXA companies as a main sponsor. We are sending a strong signal and making a contribution to ensure that the players and fans can experience a great event and further strengthen women’s football. I’m looking forward to a fantastic summer of football in 2025!”

Volunteering Opportunities

The partnership includes more than just financial support. AXA employees will have the opportunity to volunteer during the tournament as part of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 Volunteer Programme, playing a crucial role in the event’s success.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director, commented, “AXA is a dedicated supporter of women’s football in Switzerland, so we are thrilled to partner with them for what will be an unforgettable UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. We look forward to working together to make this the can’t-miss event of next summer while also strengthening women’s football in the host country and throughout Europe.”

Enhancing Visibility for Female Players

Andreea Prange, Head of Customer Experience & Strategy at AXA Switzerland, added, “Promoting women’s football is a topic I hold dear to my heart. That’s why I’m delighted that AXA, as a partner of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025, is also committed to increasing the visibility of female players at the international level.”

Tournament Details

Doris Keller, Tournament Director of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025, stated, “AXA, a long-time supporter and partner of women’s football in Switzerland and globally, is a perfect fit to become a global partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. We look forward to collaborating with AXA on the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 Volunteer Programme, as the 2,500 volunteers will play a highly essential and valuable role throughout the tournament welcoming everyone to the host country.”

The UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 will feature 16 teams competing in eight Swiss cities, attracting an estimated 500 million viewers worldwide and offering over 700,000 tickets for fans to attend the matches live.

Partnership Duration

The partnership between AXA and UEFA will continue until the end of August 2025. The financial terms of the sponsorship remain confidential.


The post AXA named as an Official Partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Lucinity Wins the Microsoft Partner Awards for 2024 for Partner of the Year – Iceland and Sustainability and Social Impact



REYKJAVÍK, Iceland, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Lucinity, a leading AI company for financial crime prevention, won two awards at the Microsoft Partner Awards for 2024, including Partner of the Year – Iceland and Sustainability and Social Impact, highlighting Lucinity’s innovations and contribution to positive societal change. 

“Congratulations to Lucinity for being recognized as the Partner of the Year – Iceland 2024! Lucinity is leading digital transformation and delivering innovative products in their domain,” says Microsoft’s leadership.

For the past year, they have played a key role with their offerings, skilled resources, and their ability to drive change and innovative solutions both locally in Iceland and across the globe. Lucinity has had significant social impact and growth while supporting our joint customers in their AI-transformation journeys.”

In June 2023, Lucinity launched the world’s first copilot for FinCrime prevention powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI called Luci. Luci stands out in the financial services industry with specialized skills for FinCrime prevention such as adverse media checks, case analysis, and SAR writing. 

Built on the robust and scalable Microsoft Azure platform, Lucinity offers customers a trusted SaaS product. Additionally, Lucinity’s presence on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace allows companies to leverage their Microsoft Azure credits to access the platform. 

The seamless integration with Microsoft’s Azure stack has enabled Lucinity to implement advanced AI capabilities, fostering rapid innovation and enabling banks and fintech companies to utilize AI securely and audibly. Furthermore, Luci significantly reduces investigation times from 2.5 hours to just 25 minutes, saving Tier 1 banks an estimated $25 million annually.

Guðmundur Kristjánsson (GK)Lucinity’s Founder and CEO comments, “These awards are a testament to the strength and reliability of our solutions, made possible by our strategic partnership with Microsoft. Utilizing Microsoft Azure, we have been able to drive rapid innovation and create a robust, scalable platform that meets the rigorous requirements of compliance teams.” 

On the Sustainability and Social Impact Partner Award, Microsoft says, “Lucinity, with their innovative AI solutions, has really tried to combat this huge global challenge. They use ‘Human AI’ to enhance financial crime prevention, combining AI with human expertise for efficient, user-friendly solutions. Additionally, Lucinity has developed a tool called Luci, an AI-powered copilot that helps transform financial crime prevention from a process that took hours to one that takes minutes.”



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2024 Hengqin Global Investment Promotion Conference Kicks Off



HENGQIN, China, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Hengqin 2024 Global Investment Promotion Conference and sharing sessions opened on 26 May. Liu Xianfa, Commissioner of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Macao SAR; Lei Wai Nong, Director of the Executive Committee of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (hereinafter referred to as the “Cooperation Zone”); Huang Zhihao, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee and Mayor of Zhuhai; Nie Xinping, Fu Yongge, Su Kun, Deputy Directors of the Executive Committee of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin attended the event. It also attracted more than 1,000 investors from Macao’s business associations and renowned enterprises at home and abroad. Guests attending the event came from 42 countries and regions, including Portugal, Brazil, Singapore and Malaysia, and the scale of participation was greatly enlarged compared with that of last year.

Lei Wai Nong said in his speech that Hengqin is currently entering into its “prime time” of trade and investment opportunities. He invited all entrepreneurs from home and abroad to invest in Hengqin and embrace the new development opportunities together.

Su Kun introduced the open investment environment of the Cooperation Zone and highlighted that the four new industries have seen significant progress and new development opportunities since the implementation of tier-specific management.

The event featured presentations on investment and development in Hengqin by representatives of Wisewave (Zhuhai) Technology Co., Ltd. and Airbus Helicopters China.

Nine research experts, scholars, and entrepreneurs from Macao and Hengqin have been invited to serve as “Ambassadors for Hengqin”. Together with six “Advocates for Hengqin” they are expected to promote Hengqin to the world. The video series “Ambassadors for Hengqin” will be rolled out in June.

Highlights of this year’s conference included an exhibition on the four new industries in the Cooperation Zone, showcasing the fruits of development in recent years. As of the end of the event on 26 May, more than 69,000 audience watched the online broadcasts.

On 27 May, a series of sharing sessions were held for in-depth discussions on integrated circuits, traditional Chinese medicine, branded industries, modern finance, cultural tourism, conventions and exhibitions, trade, and cross-border e-commerce, with the aim of building a bridge for dialogue and cooperation in these industries. 

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