UK Prime Minister pays fact-finding visit to DHL Express

British Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to the UK headquarters of DHL Express yesterday to find out about international logistics. Cameron met with employees in Feltham, in the London Borough of Hounslow, to discuss how the international express delivery company is helping UK exports and imports, and also to take questions from staff.

The Prime Minister said yesterday: “It was great to meet people rom the Feltham area and see first-hand the essential role DHL Express plays both in the local area and globally.

“Global export markets should be the next frontier for all fledgling enterprises producing great British products. That’s why I’m here today to understand the vital role logistics plays in facilitating international trade and to better understand the great work DHL Express has been doing to encourage UK SMEs to sell their wares to the world,” Cameron said.

DHL Express gave the Prime Minister a tour of its facilities before a crowd of around 250 staff were able to ask him questions.

The Conservative leader was in town ahead of a local by-election in which residents of Feltham and Heston will be voting next week for a new MP, after MP Alan Keen passed away last month.

During the questions from DHL Express staff, the Prime Minister was asked about plans for a high-speed rail link from London to the North of England, this weekend’s EU heads of government summit in Brussels, and the impact of high fuel prices on companies like DHL, to which Cameron responded that the UK had to become less dependent on fossil fuels.

Prime Minister David Cameron with DHL Express UK and Ireland CEO Phil Couchman yesterday

Commenting on the visit, DHL Express UK and Ireland chief executive Phil Couchman said: “We were delighted to welcome David Cameron to our offices in Feltham to showcase how DHL is facilitating growth for exporters of all sizes. Employees were inspired to meet the Prime Minister and enjoyed the unique opportunity to discuss topics such as the upcoming summit in Brussels, apprenticeships and the role of companies like DHL Express in international trade.”

Cameron’s visit came a month after analysis from DHL and the British Chambers of Commerce suggested that growth in UK exports have slowed during the last quarter, to around a 3% increase in trade compared to the same quarter in 2010.

Continued uncertainty about the Eurozone debt crisis and the fragility of the UK’s economy have hit confidence among businesses, with nearly one in five stating the belief that they will have to reduce staff numbers in the next quarter.

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