The UK government’s new Export Strategy sets out its ambition to increase exports as a proportion of GDP from 30% to 35% and to produce ‘more tailored support’ to UK companies.
In 2017 £620 billion of goods and services exported by UK companies accounted for 30% of our 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, while demand for British expertise and goods overseas is only growing.
There are a wide range of public and private sector organisations who can support businesses to export, however businesses have said this marketplace can be difficult to navigate. As a result, the government has committed to create an Export Strategy Partnership Group, led by the Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, bringing together senior leaders from across the export support market ecosystem.
One of the key principles behind the government’s Export Strategy is that it will be business-led. Businesses are the drivers of growth and exports, and so the strategy has been informed by engagement with a wide range of businesses across the UK. The government will ensure support is designed around the needs of businesses and has committed to continue to engage with businesses as they implement the strategy and develop future trade policy.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Expanding trade is fundamental to creating new jobs, raising productivity and increasing prosperity across the country. This strategy is a timely signal that the government is committed to improving the United Kingdom’s international competitiveness.
The CBI strongly supports the ambition to make exports 35% of GDP, which will put the UK out in front of many of our international competitors. We estimate that in every region of the country there are around 10% of businesses that could export, but don’t, and we look forward to working alongside the government to support and inspire them to seize the opportunity.
The CBI has consistently called for a long-term approach to exports. Previous strategies have come and gone, but businesses have been let down by their execution. Firms will work with the strong team in place at the Department for International Trade to ensure these plans are now rigorously carried out.”