A LEADING North East businessman with vast experience as a chairman and MD of companies in the UK, Africa and the Commonwealth has been elected to the board of the Institute of Export (IOE).
Berwick-based Derek Smail OBE, with four decades of international publishing behind him, will advise on policy and corporate governance in his role with the Institute, the UK’s only professional body offering recognised, formal qualifications in international trade.
He said: “The institute’s unique role in setting and raising professional standards in international trade management and export practice is more vital than ever as interest in international trade continues to grow.
“Equipping business with the relevant knowledge and skills to ensure success has likewise taken on an unprecedented importance and I’m looking forward to further enhancing and expanding the institute’s reputation.”
Smail, who has been a deputy lieutenant of Northumberland since 1992, has enjoyed a succession of prominent roles, including executive chairman of African Media Investments since 1998 and non-executive director of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe.
He helped launch the market-leading paper the Daily News in Zimbabwe in 1999, and although it was banned after 2003 by the Mugabe regime it started up again in 2011 .
From 2001 to 2009, as non-executive director of CBET, he raised the foreign investment to acquire a 49% shareholding in two weekly newspapers published in Botswana – The Guardian and the Midweek Sun.