400,000 UK businesses believe they could export but don’t!

Tuesday 21st August 2018

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has set a target for an increase in exports from 30% last year (as a proportion of the UK’s GDP) to 35% this year. With last year’s exports weighing in at £620bn worth of goods and services – a record high – and with the Department for International Trade’s estimate that 400,000 UK businesses believe that they could export but do not, coupled with overseas demand for British expertise and goods growing, there must be every reason to believe that, although ambitious, the new target is nevertheless very much achievable.
For the full story please read the bulletin below which was issued today by Insider News Media Ltd.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 21st August 2018

Trade secretary sets target to increase exports

International trade secretary Liam Fox has set a target to increase exports as a proportion of the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) to 35 per cent as part of a new trade strategy.

Last year, the £620bn worth of goods and services exported by British companies accounted for 30 per cent of GDP, with UK exports at a record high.

However, the Department for International Trade estimates that 400,000 businesses believe they could export but don’t, with demand for British expertise and goods overseas growing.

New measures include support for businesses looking to invest overseas and developing an online tool enabling businesses to submit non-tariff barriers they face, as well as deploying an awareness campaign to target UK exporters most likely to benefit from up to £50bn worth of export finance and insurance support from UK Export Finance. The department will also promote UK Export Finance support in overseas markets to help UK companies and consortia win contracts.

In a speech, Fox is expected to say: "The United Kingdom is a great exporting nation and our exporters lead the way, in creating jobs, raising wages and growing our economy.

"UK businesses are superbly placed to capitalise on the rapid changes in the global economic environment and I believe the UK has the potential to be a 21st century exporting superpower.
"As an international economic department, we are determined to support, connect and grow UK companies on the world stage through our international network.

"As we leave the EU, we must set our sights high and that is just what this Export Strategy will help us achieve."

Baroness Fairhead, minister of state for trade and export promotion at the Department of International Trade, added: "Since its creation two years ago, DIT has already helped thousands of UK companies to export – with exports now at a record high.

"As the world’s sixth largest exporter, we do punch above our weight, however, we also punch below our potential. This Export Strategy sets out to change that and to increase exports as a proportion of GDP from 30 per cent to 35 per cent, taking us from the middle of the G7 to near the top. This is ambitious, but achievable.

"This strategy builds on the UK Industrial Strategy and our existing export support services – our network of trade advisers and promoters across the UK and in 108 countries worldwide, UKEF’s £50bn capacity to support exports in 60 currencies, and our great.gov.uk service. To achieve our aim, Government must join up across departments to enable UK companies to succeed overseas.
"This strategy is a first step - a foundation - for a new national drive to export."