Comment by BVAA Director Rob Bartlett

Itís great to be back!

At last, we get to exhibit again at Valve World Expo!

After postponements due to Covid 19, and a great deal of uncertainty (and assuming no last-minute hiccups) we have finally been able to come together again at the Dusseldorf Messe.

This special issue of Valve User magazine celebrates the return of the UK valve industry to this European showcase, and also celebrates the richness and diversity of the offer presented by BVAA’s 180 members.

Much has changed since the spring of 2020.  From a UK perspective we had to undergo ‘Brexit’ with all that that entailed, the complications of which are still unravelling for UK and indeed the rest of the EU.  Then there are the mergers and acquisitions, plus the odd demise, that have changed our association’s line up, and readers of this magazine will also spot that there are several new players in the BVAA fold, each with unique product and service offerings.

I for one am looking forward to meeting face-to-face again with visitors at our BVAA Group Stand (Hall 1, Stand E53), and especially those individuals we only ever see at Valve World. One gentleman, Michael, comes all the way from Australia to attend the show, and makes a point of calling by to say hello. With the geography involved, we would never see each other otherwise, and it’s always great to see him there.

Similarly, there are technical experts that we would usually see frequently at international meetings etc., but these meetings have regrettably moved online.  In my 40 years in industry, it was the personal relationships that I had made with my overseas counterparts that I found eased understanding of the UK viewpoint. The opportunity to meet face-to-face, build a relationship and a rapport, and even on occasion get into (and out of) the odd scrape, lead eventually to life-long friendships.  They made it possible to oil the wheels of compromise. 

I for one don’t feel that Brexit has isolated Britain per se. It has made things awkward certainly, but if anything, it has strengthened British industry’s resolve to overcome whatever hurdles are put in front of us in order to continue trading with our European friends. Indeed, BVAA has spent a great deal of time advising our European partners how to continue trading with Britain – a side of Brexit that possibly gets forgotten.

The war in Eastern Europe means there’s never been a stronger need to come together, and the recent Prague European Summit showed that is essential that we ALL keep channels open, and work together whatever petty squabbles there may be. The threats to global supply chains are very real right now, and may worsen still further. There’s never been a more opportune moment to see what alternatives lie upon our own shores, or indeed just a few miles over the other side of the channel. We are, after all, Stronger Together.

Published: 8th November 2022

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