The British Exporters Association (BExA) has appointed Baroness Elizabeth Symons as its new president.

Symons is a senior Labour member of the House of Lords, a former deputy leader of the House of Lords, and held ministerial posts in the UK government from 1997 to 2005.

Her time in government was as minister for the Middle East, minister for international trade, minister for defence procurement, and the prime minister’s envoy to the Gulf.

Symons has a wide range of experience and is chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, co-chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, chairman of the British Egyptian Society and she sits on the advisory boards of the Egyptian-British Business Council, British Expertise and the ‘D’ Group.

She is also a senior consultant to DLA Piper, Blenheim Capital, Protection Group International and Consolidated Contractors Company.

Symons succeeds Richard Needham, who has stepped down as the association’s president after nearly 20 years in the role.

Commenting on the appointment, BExA co-chairman, large corporates, Marcus Dolman, says: “We are very pleased with the appointment of Baroness Symons as our new president. She has a long and distinguished career in trade and we look forward to working with her to strengthen BExA’s position as the leading voice of the UK’s export community.”