South West market leader celebrated in Queen's honours list

Zoe Bagnall
Content and PR Manager
7th June 2022

Ameeta Virk, Market Leader at The Department for International Trade (DIT) and Business West has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List for services to the economy.

Over the last eight years Ameeta has tirelessly championed trade and innovated novel initiatives to drive UK exports into the US and India - directly impacting the growth of South-West businesses. 

Notably during the pandemic, Ameeta designed virtual market visits to India and the USA in the Tech4Good arena, supporting a range of SMEs that offer technology solutions to improve social, environmental and/or health outcomes.

Other export innovations include an accelerator for businesses to launch into fast growing retail markets, a monthly virtual session created during the pandemic for exporters to voice their challenges and exchange ideas and the design of masterclasses to educate SMEs on the critical points of international market entry. 

Now in its 8th year, Ameeta created the award-nominated Pathways to International Trade programme with the University of Exeter, a student-focussed international trade training course which has propelled the careers of over 100 graduates.

Ameeta has also been a member of the Economy Board of Bristol One City tasked with the goal of building a sustainable, inclusive, and growing economy from which all in Bristol will benefit.

Ameeta was named one of Top 100 most influential people in the UK for UK-India relations in 2019.

Ameeta said:

“This incredible honour means everything to me. India, the UK and the USA - where my family is from, where I was born and where I grew up - all mean so much to me personally and professionally. 

"The US and India present huge opportunities for UK business, but there is much work to be done and this recognition has energised me to do even more to drive trade between these markets in the years to come.”

Paul Shand, Head of Trade for DIT in the South West said:

“Ameeta’s work in introducing businesses to key markets has contributed to the strengthening of the South West economy by forging strong trade connections.

“I know that she will continue to do great things for companies in the region. Her dedication to the business community is an inspiration to us all.” 

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West said:

“All of us at Business West are delighted that Ameeta’s work has been recognised at such a high level.  

“Her boundless energy and tireless support of business make her well deserving of this prestigious accolade.” 

For further information on DIT’s exporting support and international opportunities, visit or contact your local trade office via

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