Bradford-based Chamber Inter-national, which is co-ordinating the We Are International export campaign across the Leeds City Region, is holding its price freeze to help local firms boost overseas trade.

Tim Bailey, Chamber International director, said: “Exporting is often very rewarding but also highly competitive and, to give exporters as much support as possible, Chamber International is freezing prices for the second successive year in spite of the rising costs for our operation.

“By holding our costs, with the exception of one service – certificates of conformity – we’re doing what we can to help exporters remain competitive as more and more SMEs get a taste for exporting.

“We believe passionately that UK businesses can gain a bigger, lasting slice of world trade which is why we are extending our price freeze into 2014, despite rising costs, to help support exporters during what remain difficult trading times.”

Among firms using CI’s services to smooth the way for export sales is Shipley-based laboratory equipment maker Don Whtley Scientific, which supplies equipment and services to the microbiology and tissue culture industries worldwide The firm,which exports a range of equipment including kit for rapidly detecting bacteria, appointed Chamber International to handle its exports using Letters of Credit last year. Letters of Credit underpin commercial transactions and help ensure that exporters get paid.

Steve Parry, Don Whitley warehouse and logistics manager, said: “Letters of Credit are important. Our products are basically built to order with a purchase price from a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands.

“We use letters of credit in countries which are traditionally difficult to trade with or because the end-user insists on using them. Overseas sales are made via intermediaries so having letters of credit helps to guarantee we get paid for the equipment supplied.

“Obviously we would prefer people to pay on proforma but, when that is not possible, letters of credit have helped us maintain a healthy export side of the business in what has been, over the last few years, a difficult economic period. We used to use an international freight company for this service but find the process easier at Chamber International and the staff very efficient.”