U.K. companies covet U.S. market

When it comes to government contracting, the U.S. market is the biggest in the world. With that fact in mind, the British government kicked off a trade mission this week to introduce several U.K. companies to potential U.S. government customers.

The British delegation includes businesses focused on defense, health, transportation and information technology consulting, said John Hutton, secretary of state for the business, enterprise and regulatory reform. His position is equivalent to the U.S. Commerce secretary.

"The public services industry was born in the United States and has spread globally," he said. "We've been on this journey together."

The services contractors provide in the United Kingdom are similar in scope to the market in the United States, so bringing more U.K. companies to the U.S. furthers British economic development, he said.

British companies crossing the ocean to capture business in the United States is nothing new. Over the last decade companies such as BAE Systems, Serco Group and QinetiQ have built large U.S. government operations. All three companies are on Washington Technology's Top 100 list of the largest government contractors. Serco officials also are part of the trade mission.

The goal of the trade mission is to test the market to see if more British companies can compete for opportunities in the United States, he said.

"We're not looking to make any deals this week," he said. "We are here to test the market and gauge interest."

The companies also are meeting with U.S. contractors to explore partnership opportunities, Hutton said.

Other companies on the mission are:
  • A4e Ltd (www.a4e.co.uk/)
  • Aspire Defence Ltd (www.aspiredefence.co.uk)
  • Northgate Information Systems UK Ltd (www.northgate-is.com)
  • Tribal Group Plc (www.tribalgroup.co.uk)
  • Working Links Ltd (www.workinglinks.co.uk)

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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