A NEW North Manchester Export Network was launched this week at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Blackrod.

The Network has been formed by the four North Manchester Chambers of Commerce -- Bolton and Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Wigan -- and Business Link North Manchester.

It is modelled on the successful Bolton Bury Export Club, which was established in 1993.

More than 40 representatives of local companies and business support organisations attended the launch of the new organisation.

North-west Euro MP Gary Titley, leader of the British Group of Labour MEPs, outlined details of the proposed enlargement of the European community to include 10 more countries from as early as January 1, 2004.

Mr Titley spoke about the threats and benefits faced by British businesses.

Mr Titley also discussed the eEurope initiative and efforts within the EU to create a stronger information society, so that European companies can play a leading role in shaping the global information-based economy.

He referred to efforts being made to reduce bureaucracy and regulatory interference in the daily activities of companies. A second presentation was made by John Leach of Strategem Ltd, a global provider of management consultancy to both local companies and national governments.

The next meetings of the International Trade Network will be on December 3, in Wigan, and December 4, in Rochdale.

The main topic for discussion will be market research, including highlighting sources of support and funding for companies wanting to research ventures into foreign markets.

Full details of these events are available from the Network's website on www.tradenet work.org.uk or firms can contact Network co-ordinator Charles Jacobson on 0161 615 5019.