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Trade Policy

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether UK Trade and Investment has changed its strategy in the light of the current world economic crisis. (241924)

UK Trade and Investment keeps its strategy under review to ensure that it continues to add value for the economy and for business in an increasingly globalised and competitive world. Recent reviews have aimed to ensure that UKTI is providing the best possible support to help businesses through the current economic crisis.

Recent UKTI measures announced:

new funding rules for the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) announced on 7 November. The scheme supports more than 3,000 SMEs each year to exhibit at overseas trade fairs. The new rules, which will take effect from 1 April 2009, will double the maximum number of grants per company to six, as long as they are participating in tradeshows in more than one market;

a new £1 million package of UKTI support to help UK companies of all sizes access manufacturing value chain opportunities in India and China, announced in the Government’s Manufacturing Strategy in September 2008. The target is to help 600 businesses access opportunities through this new initiative;

a new package of support to be launched by April 2009 and delivered in the English regions focused on helping innovative companies with export experience to increase their internationalisation capabilities;

the creation of a Business Ambassadors network announced by the Prime Minister on 3 October. 17 leading figures from business and universities will work with UKTI to promote the UK’s excellence internationally, highlight trade and investment opportunities and help SMEs to access global markets.