Meeting demand to buy UK exports abroad

The government is calling on businesses to back its export drive and put the UK at the forefront of global trade, says Lord Maude, Minister for Trade and Investment


The UK has long been a trading nation and for centuries we have introduced our creativity, craft and commodities to the furthest shores. Today, UK brands and the UK’s leadership in quality of design and technological innovation are in greater international demand than ever before.

But too many UK companies are yet to grasp the world of opportunities that await, either by taking their first foray into exporting, or entering new overseas markets.

International trade is central to secure and sustainable economic growth. There should not be a UK-based business who does not export to their potential should they wish to do so. To enable this, government is mobilising all its departments behind the export drive and working with businesses to realise the benefits of international trade.

100,000 more exporters

In November, we will launch Exporting is GREAT, an ambitious campaign to inspire a new generation of businesses to sell their goods and services around the world. The campaign will present real-time exporting opportunities that businesses can apply for immediately; provide advice and expertise through a year-long road show; and build the country’s largest business peer-to-peer advice network. This campaign will serve to support the government’s objective of 100,000 additional exporters by 2020.

Government is mobilising all its departments behind the export drive and working with businesses to realise the benefits of international trade

We offer a range of support to enable companies to succeed overseas. UK Trade & Investment’s First Time Exporters initiative provides the opportunity for businesses to participate in export insight visits to gain invaluable understanding of selling goods or services in international markets. Our online tool Export Savvy provides a short accessible module programme to get you started on the export journey whether you’re sitting at your desk or on your sofa.

Our other services include expert guidance from a trade or finance adviser; advice on international e-commerce and online selling; and support to help connect UK companies to potential overseas clients.

Supporting UK businesses

Our recent changes to the  Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act allow greater flexibility in the export finance help we can offer UK exporters. Through UK Export Finance, the nation’s export credit agency, we are helping firms to alleviate the financial risks of overseas trade and to bridge their gaps in financing, boosting export capacity.

With our private sector partners, we give companies invaluable access to vital support from local chambers, banks, lawyers, accountants and consultants.

We use digital technology to understand better the journey of businesses to export and to transform our services to meet business needs. This includes making the pathway to government export support simpler, clearer and faster, so that it bears comparison with the best examples from digital commerce.

To ensure that government is focusing our efforts on the areas where we can add most value, we are working hand in hand with business to transform the current export support landscape, including through our recent series of Export Jams.

On an international level, we are calling for an open and transparent global trade and investment culture, and the reduction of red tape and regulation.

But government cannot increase exports alone; business drives economic growth. So we need your co-operation to ensure we offer the UK services and products that are so widely in demand. It’s only by working together that we can make progress towards achieving our aim of doubling UK exports to a trillion pounds to increase economic growth.

The time has never been better for UK companies to succeed overseas. So I ask you to raise your international aspirations and work with government to seize the export opportunities that await you. My commitment to you, as your Minister for Trade and Investment, is that government will support you on every step of the journey.

The UK is open for business.