The Government has launched a new 12-point export strategy to help the region’s businesses sell their products around the world.
‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ is backed by the Department for International Trade (DIT), and aims to reap the benefits of current free trade deals.
For example, the Export Support Service offers a one-stop shop for exporting advice, while the UK Tradeshow Programme is tailored to help businesses, particularly outside London and the South East, to attend and promote their products around the world.
The UK Export Academy will also be expanded, with specific help for SME owners and managers in the form of masterclasses, roundtables and networking events to overcome common challenges faced by first-time exporters.
The UK exported £600 billion in goods and services last year1, but only around one in ten GB businesses currently export2 – well behind continental competitors like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands3.
The Government believes that unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help level up the country and boost the UK’s economy (e.g. exports supported 6.5 million jobs across the UK in 2016).
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan says: “This is a defining moment in our national trading story. As we agree ambitious new trade deals around the world, it is more vital than ever that businesses across the UK take advantage of these opportunities and unleash their full exporting potential.
“Reaching £1 trillion worth of exports by the end of this decade means more jobs, more opportunities and higher wages helping the UK to level up and build back better.”
Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP, added: “We know businesses are at different points on their exporting journey. Some are already successful exporters but want to sell more products or reach new markets. Others are yet to take the leap and export for the first time.
“Whatever your story, our tailored support, expertise and international network is here and ready to help you maximise your ambitions and sell to the world.”
The Strategy includes:
- Plans to replicate the South East’s high export levels across the country, championing the UK’s priority sectors through a localised marketing campaign to promote the best of British.
- An Export Support Service which provides a single point of contact for exporters to Europe via a hotline and online services.
- A UK Export Academy teaching SMEs how to navigate the technicalities of exporting and find new opportunities overseas.
- A new UK Tradeshow Programme to give UK companies, especially SMEs, a leg-up and exhibit their first-class products at the world’s biggest tradeshows.
- UK Export Finance offering new products and a wider delivery network to make it easier for UK exporters to secure business from overseas buyers.
- Export Champions, ensuring businesses can build and learn from exporting successes through business-to-business networking and peer-to-peer learning
- Internationalisation Fund, open to SMEs in England, which aims to grow international sales, and has facilitated £4 million of support to SMEs attending Trade Fairs.
Federation of Small Businesses National Chair, Mike Cherry, said: “As the voice of the UK’s small business community, FSB has been pleased to help develop today’s Export Strategy. For too long small firms have been faced with difficulty getting onto the exporting ladder, so we’re pleased to see many of these fundamental issues tackled head-on in this export plan.
“Our recent export report proposed simplifying how small firms can export, improving access to tradeshows support service and information on FTAs, as well as boosting trade skills. These will go a long way to seeing the numbers of exporters rise. Increasing small business exports will drive prosperity and growth, protecting the economic recovery from COVID.”