For the last 20 years, we’ve been importing more than we export. But selling goods and services overseas is good for business productivity and growth, as well as regional and national economies. With international relationships under the spotlight, now is the time for the UK to grasp opportunities worldwide.
We’re calling on the government to deliver on its ambition to increase exports to 35% of GDP. Implementing the policies that enable UK firms to reach global markets will boost regional growth and productivity and ensure the UK economy is more sustainable.
Align the Export Strategy with the Industrial Strategy to coherently link UK government assistance both domestically and internationally and ensure businesses have the best possible access to support
Maximise the UK’s diplomatic network around the world to create a more consistent approach to economic diplomacy, so that UK firms can realise their potential
Establish strong business-government partnerships so that the Export Strategy is geared towards business needs
Less than 10% of UK businesses currently export, and yet exporting offers many opportunities for businesses to compete, grow and innovate. Both the UK economy and many firms would feel real benefits if the UK set an ambitious, long-term and cross-government exports agenda. Companies that trade internationally become more productive, more innovative and diversify their risk profile – and exporting can be a significant driver of growth.
The UK is at a pivotal moment, redefining its place in the world after Brexit. Now more than ever, we must put in place a framework that provides the right environment for business to grasp opportunities worldwide. Irrespective of the nature of the agreement with the EU, or future free trade agreements with other countries, government and business must act now to improve the UK’s exports.
"The UK’s innovation, creativity and outstanding services have never been more relevant to a changing world. And as politicians look afresh at our international relationships, this is the moment for government and business to set a world-leading level of ambition, backed by action, that will position the UK as a thriving, open and global economy for generations to come."Ben Digby, Director of International Trade & Investment, CBI
The evidence shows that exporting businesses experience higher growth, productivity, and are more likely to innovate.
In the year to November 2018, £630 billion of goods and services were exported by UK businesses.
Up to 15% of firms in every region could be exporting but are yet to do so.
Less than 10% of UK businesses export, but that makes up 30% of UK GDP.
The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.
Understanding member priorities for exports
Trade takes centre stage at the CBI
Global export opportunities
Government unveils plans to improve language skills
Business to lead the government’s exports strategy
Government to consolidate access to exports support
Government to improve digital services for exports
CBI responds to the government's exports strategy
What the new Strategic Trade Advisory Group means for members
CBI influences G7 France by addressing G7 Sherpa meeting in Lille
UK business championed on the world-stage
Building a world-leading UK trade policy
At your service: ‘why boosting services trade will open doors for UK prosperity’
The CBI launches its Invest for Growth campaign to increase UK R&D spend to 3%, with its Now is the Time to Innovate – Road to 3% report
Join the CBI
Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business and help us campaign to create the right environment for the UK to be an exporting superpower.Find out more
Have your say
Shape the CBI policy position to create a prosperous exporting environment. Share your story and make a difference.Get involved
Make a difference
This campaign is led by the CBI's International Trade team.
Contact Ben Digby, Director of International Trade and Investment, to find out what UK business urgently needs to improve exports and how you can support it.