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Royal visit for Abacus

25 May 2011 12.00 BST

(UK) - The Duke of York, the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, recently visited The Abacus Group’s Nottinghamshire headquarters.

The first royal visit for the firm which has been established for over 52 years, became possible when the Duke of York met The Abacus Group’s MD Andrew Morris-Richardson on a business trip to St Petersburg in Russia where Abacus have an office and expressed an interest in getting to know the company better. His visit to the lighting firm’s HQ in Nottinghamshire was especially significant as The Duke of York had just returned from China and Abacus also have a large production facility in Shanghai.

Abacus’s Global Managing Director Andrew Morris-Richardson said he felt privileged that His Royal Highness had taken the time out of his busy schedule to visit and learn more about their organisation.

He said, “We were delighted to be part of such a high profile visit - especially given the pivotal role The Duke plays in promoting UK businesses abroad. At Abacus, we are constantly innovating and adapting to meet the ever changing world market and it’s great for our contribution to international trade to be recognised by someone who is so important to the UK’s reputation on the world stage.”

During a full-tour of the headquarters and factory facilities conducted by Chris Welbourn, Group Operations Director, His Royal Highness was shown Abacus’s latest product innovations including Abacus’s advancements in LED lighting.

 The Duke was also briefed on Abacus’s international growth strategy including receiving details of Abacus’s further planned locations around the world. He was shown the steps Abacus are taking to embrace social media and the internet before unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion of his visit.

Also in attendance at the visit was the International Trade Director of UKTI, Peter Hogarth. 

He said, "Abacus was one of the first British companies to invest in China 15 years ago following a series of trade missions and market visits with UKTI.  Mastering local business etiquette and understanding the market certainly paid off, as it is now a leading light in its field with a state-of-the-art factory in Shanghai - double the size of its previous plant - not to mention a strong presence in Russia, utilising opportunities for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the 2012 international APEC summit.”

"The company has always been well and truly ahead of the game and provides a great incentive for other local firms to get out there and export. To be visited today by HRH Duke of York is a real testament to its success.”


HRH The Duke of York listening intently to Abacus’s Global Managing Director Andrew Morris-Richardson

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