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HomeNewsJoin us for a great day of Rugby & Business: Saturday, 22 October 2022

Join us for a great day of Rugby & Business: Saturday, 22 October 2022

Strengthening economic and business links can also happen on the pitch. Nord France Invest have worked hard with the Hauts-de-France Chamber of Commerce to pull together a great opportunity for UK and French businesses to come together in Northern France to solve their trade issues and identify new cross-Channel opportunities, in particular in the agri-food and transport/logistics sectors. For companies travelling with organisers’ coaches from Watford: travel, accommodation and food are all paid for. But the event is also open to all other companies in the UK. Business representatives will have to pay for their trip to Armentières, but once there, accommodation and food costs will be covered.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to expand your business in the EU and strengthen cross-Channel ties through rugby on Saturday, 22 October 2022 !



What is this event about?

  • We would like to use the perspective of the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup and 2024 Olympic Games (where Rugby 7s is played), which will both take place in France, to foster joint business opportunities between companies in the UK and in the Hauts-de-France region.
  • We are therefore organising rugby games between amateur clubs in the UK and in Hauts-de-France.
  • The first game will take place on Saturday, 22 October 2022 and it will be between Armentières and Watford
  • The game will be organised within the partnership between the Hauts-de-France Regional Council and France 2023 (the Rugby World Cup organisation), to mark one year ahead of the 2023 world cup in France, which means the event will involve several officials, with important local/regional media coverage
  • As the aim is to strengthen economic and business ties between the UK and Hauts-de-France, the event will include a large business event on the sidelines, with companies from the UK looking to develop their trading ties with France and Europe


What is the purpose of this event?


Brexit is done, now let’s strengthen Franco-British business links! More than 18 months after the UK left the single market and customs union, trade flows between the UK and France and the wider continent still have some ground to recover. This takes coordinated and proactive actions from businesses and officials on both sides of the Channel, as it is in everyone’s interest to strengthen trade between our two countries.

This can be done essentially through three types of actions:

  • Help companies deal with new trade constraints. New trade rules and controls at the UK/EU border have created many headaches for companies using it. But these constraints are not insurmountable; it’s just a matter of organisation. Whether you struggle with tax representation, fiscal representation, sanitary and phytosanitary controls or finding the right warehouses or business contacts to talk to, the partners behind the Short Straits Users Forum (SSUF) are here to help you and will present their pragmatic solutions to help all businesses – large and small – thrive in their cross-Channel operations.
  • Identify new business opportunities. The UK and Hauts-de-France share many common features. Two sectors stand out in particular: agri-food and transport/logistics, as they are the most hit by the return of trade constraints, but also as they are experiencing substantial transformations due to a variety of business and economic trends, which can create important opportunities for companies in the UK and elsewhere in France and Europe.
  • Business networking: in advance of the event, brochures with details of all companies attending will be displayed, to allow business representatives to prepare for the networking sessions and make the most of them.

What will be discussed at the business event ? Full programme available

Timing Place Action
Friday, 21st October
In the afternoon Watford-Lille Bus trip to Lille for the delegation
19:00 Hauts-de-France Regional Council Informal networking cocktail with UK companies, and Representatives of the Hauts-de-France Regional Council and Regional businesses
Saturday, 22nd October
8:30-9:00AM Conference centre Welcome coffee
9:00-9:20AM Conference centre Keynote speech “Cross-Channel trade in times of energy crisis”, by Xavier Bourat, Hauts-de-France Regional Director, Total Energies
9:30-10:30AM Conference centre Session 1: dealing with the new cross-Channel trade barriers

  • Tax representation: Michael Boulanger (CEO of RM Boulanger and Anne Sanson (Marketing Manager)
  • Customs obligations: Michelle Pisano (Unsworth, Sales assistant to Sales Director) and speakers from Bansard International/Seiko
  • Port Boulogne-Calais: the local infrastructure (Anthony Pétillon, Strategy & Development, SEPD) and processes around customs (Jean-Baptiste Kimmel, Head of Economic action unit, Deputy regional director for customs in Dunkirk) and Sanitary and Phystosanitary controls (Julien Desatis, SPS control unit in Calais)
  • UK Department for International Trade – Market access solutions
  • Q&A
10:30-10:45AM Conference centre Coffee break
10:45-12:00AM Conference centre Session 2 – Cross-Channel trade opportunities

  • Franco-British Chamber of Commerce (Catherine Le Yaouanc, General Manager) and British Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lille (Nik Haidar, Board Member)
  • UK Department for International Trade
  • Getlink/Eurotunnel: John Keefe (Director of Public Affairs)
  • Nord France Invest (Artus Galiay, Director UK/Ireland) and CCI International Hauts-de-France
  • Opportunity: 1-minute pitches from a variety of French and British companies
  • Q&A
12:00 – 13:30 Conference centre Networking lunch for all companies
13:30 – 16:30 Rugby Stadium Delegates are invited to go the Armentières stadium across the road to attend the Watford vs Armentières rugby game
16:30 – 21:00 Rugby Stadium Social event for those who wish to stay longer (for others, bus departs at 5pm to return to Watford in the evening)


Who are the main partners in this event ?

Register now to the rugby and business event

For companies travelling with organiser’ buses from Watford: travel, accommodation and food are all paid for. But the event is also open to all other companiesin the UK. Business representatives will have to pay for their trip to Armentières, but on there, accommodation and foot costs will be covered.

Any questions about this event?  Fell free to contact Artus Galiay: a.galiay@nfinvest.fr



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