International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, announced at the end of August, ambitious plans to drastically enhance Britain’s exporting capabilities to become a ‘superpower’ in the industry. These plans form part of the government’s larger Industrial Strategy, which aims to ensure higher-paid jobs are created, with investment in the development of skills, industries and infrastructure.
The exporting industry is vital to the UK economy, accounting for an astounding 30% of GDP. In the past year alone over £620 billion worth of goods and services was exported by British companies. Despite factors such as the global financial crisis, UK export was in fact worth ten times more in 2017 than it had been a decade earlier.
The government’s strategy plan is to increase exports as a proportion of GDP so that it accounts for 35%. In order to do this the government will invest in a number of areas, all aimed at encouraging further businesses to export.
Whether established exporters or new to the industry, there will be barriers facing businesses that may discourage them from exporting, the government’s strategy will support businesses in overcoming these barriers, with four main avenues in which to achieve this:
Improving the UK’s exporting abilities
> Investment into the digital platform great.gov.uk will encourage businesses that have the capability to export, but have not yet started. With the creation of a network of ‘export champions’, all of whom will offer guidance to fledgling exporters.
> New and even established exporters may struggle to find the overseas networks, therefore the government plan to develop a digital service that will allow both businesses and trade organisations to report on non-tariff barriers across the globe.
> Further to the government’s investment into the great.gov.uk, there are plans in place to transform this into a single platform, on which businesses can access all business growth and export support.
> Lack of confidence in a business’ financial ability to invest in export can be one of the most significant barriers. UK Export Finance (UKEF) will boost awareness of the financial packages and insurance available to businesses as part of the strategy.
The above points are just some of the many initiatives laid out in the export strategy, more details of this can be found on the recently published report.
As a business with vast experience in the exporting industry, Grace Overseas is extremely encouraged by the government’s investment in expanding this vital industry, that is a significant contributor to the UK economy. We look forward to seeing the implementation of this strategy, and guiding our own clients through the many opportunities that the strategy is predicted to bring.