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IoD London International Trade SIG

What are three priorities for the SIG?

The International Trade SIG aims to promote both inward investment and exports and built an active community to provide mutual support and advice. Since being formed we have held events on the business benefits of international trade, the impact of COVID 19 on the international supply chain. We have also held country briefings on Japan Mauritius, Poland and Portugal.

The three priorities we have identified for the short to medium term are:1. Shaping the new relationship with the EU, some of the topics we hope to cover include:

a. Documentation requirements for imports and exports.

b. The impact of VAT and Customer returns for e-tailers.

c. Data Sharing / Processing rules.

d. Do I need an EU entity?

e. What are the benefits of a Northern Ireland entity?

f. Country of origin rules.

2. Finding growth opportunities in new markets


b. USA.

c. Commonwealth Opportunities, Australasia, Canada, India etc.

d. How to leverage the new UK Free Ports.

3. What is the new business as usual?

a. International Travel – do we need it?

b. The future of international conference and exhibitions.

c. How to maximise support from the DIT? 

How can members participate or contribute?

For those of you interested in contributing to IoD Central London's International Special Interest Group please contact me. I am available on LinkedIn:

We are always looking for volunteers to develop the direction and objectives of the SIG, help organise events, write thought leadership blogs and provide policy input to HQ.

Please join our WhatsApp group where you can ask questions or provide assistance to other members of the SIG.

We ask the Chair of the International Trade Special Interest Group (SIG), Andrew Lambert, a bit about himself.

Tell us about your career to date

After graduating from Portsmouth University with an honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering I joined Philips Research and working cutting edge systems including high definition television and home information. Many of the projects that I contributed to are the basis for the modern digital world (e.g. Sky TV, Personal Digital Devices). I then joined the commercial arm of Philips and held several senior management positions. I was a member of the management buy-team that was funded by Carlyle Group. 

In 1995 I founded EMS, a Technology Consultancy and Telecoms Company, which manufactures, the award-winning i-MO® 4G/5G WAN router appliances and associated Optibond® Software Defined Networking (SDN) cloud management software. 

I recently spun out Fibre Ltd from EMS. Fibre Ltd a telecoms company that installs full-fibre broadband to new housing developments.

Tell us about your day job

Electronic Media Services is a specialist provider of telecommunications and networking services. It is currently in a high growth phase and my time is split between developing the medium-term strategy, driving the R&D activity and general day to day administration.

What are your business objectives?

A key objective is to continue the grow the business, especially in new high growth markets. The only constant for any small business is change and over the last 25 years, EMS has been re-invented many times as technology and markets have changed. I believe a key to our survival through two recession and the current global pandemic has been working in partnership with customers, suppliers and especially the employees.  Our historic staff turnover levels have been incredibly low, during the current pandemic we have supported the staff working at home and we continually provide training so that they develop their skills that will enable the company to adapt to a changing market place.

Why did you join the IoD?

Running a small business can be lonely and the regular branch networking events provided an excellent environment to meet like-minded business leaders to hear about the business challenges and how they have overcome them. In my 20 or more years of membership, I have used most of the services offered by the IoD especially the valuable Information Service and educational services.

What are your objectives within your IoD Ambassador role?

To support the global Britain agenda and encourage more SMEs to trade outside the UK.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I run with several Hash House Harrier packs a habit I picked up during my regular visits to Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. I have a private pilots license and co-own 6 seat Beech Bonanza light aircraft. I also look forward to the annual Dragon Boat race where team IoD have improved their results ever year!

It gets personal! Tell us about yourself

I am passionate about supporting innovative SMEs and International Trade and I recently retired from the boards of the Enterprise M3 LEP and the China Britain Business Council. In addition to Chairing the IoD London International Trade SIG and also Vice-Chair of the techUK UK-China Tech Forum and a member of the UK5G International Trade and SME/LEP Working Groups.