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UK Export Strategy

Volume 703: debated on Wednesday 17 November 2021

On our inaugural International Trade Week, we have today launched our export strategy—“Made in the UK, Sold to the World”. This is the first export strategy since the UK became a sovereign trading nation.

Some businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, can face a range of barriers to exporting, with costs, lack of knowledge, constraints in capacity and networks among the most often cited. This Government are committed to working hand in hand with business to help them to succeed in the global marketplace through a first-class export support framework.

As part of the “Race to £1 trillion” we are setting an ambition and a challenge to boost exports—unleashing the potential of businesses across the UK and building our reputation as a global exporting powerhouse.

Research estimates that exports supported 6.5 million jobs across the UK in 2016, 74% of which were outside of London. Separate survey analysis has found that fewer than one in 10 businesses in the UK exported, and these businesses are not evenly distributed across the country. Trade through exports means jobs, and investment into local communities and our public services, including police, the NHS and schools. Evidence also shows exporters are more productive and pay higher wages. Our strategy will set out tangible ways in which we can support businesses to take advantage of existing and new markets, while levelling up the country.

The strategy highlights a range of measures to support businesses including:

Launching the “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” campaign, championing the UK’s priority sectors through an innovative, localised marketing campaign that will promote the best of British goods and services in our towns and cities.

The Export Support Service provides a single point of contact for exporters to Europe. Since launching in October the new export hotline and online service has helped hundreds of businesses to get exporting.

UK Export Academy expansion to offer SMEs in all parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the chance to learn how to navigate the technicalities of exporting and how to find new opportunities in overseas markets.

A new UK Tradeshow Programme will be bigger and better targeted to give UK companies, especially SMEs, a leg-up to exhibit their first-class products at the world’s biggest tradeshows.

UK Export Finance—our world-leading export credit agency—will expand its offer with new products and a wider delivery network that will 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, will aim to grow international sales, and has facilitated £4 million of support to SMEs attending trade fairs.

As part of International Trade Week, through our trade hubs and army of expert advisers dotted around the UK, over 2,500 business have signed up to over 100 events and workshops—which will support and encourage businesses to sell globally—from webinars on key global markets (e.g. doing business in Singapore) through to free trade agreement (FTA) workshops, with events being run by both Government and businesses, there is something for every business.