Department for International Trade launches Government Export Strategy

​Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP and Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, announced the government's Export Strategy on 21 August 2018, which aims to increase UK total exports as a proportion of GDP to 35%.

The Export Strategy outlines how the government will produce smarter and more tailored support to UK companies. Download the Export Strategy below or find it here.

There are key elements to the strategy to support companies selling overseas:

  • encourage and inspire more businesses to export, including an increased focus on amplifying the voice of existing exporters to inspire other businesses and facilitating peer-to-peer learning
  • inform businesses by providing information, advice and practical assistance on exporting, including developing into a single digital platform for both domestic business growth and export support and working with large companies to help build the capability of UK supply chains
  • connect UK businesses to overseas buyers, markets and each other, including support for businesses looking to invest overseas and developing an online tool enabling businesses to submit non-tariff barriers they face
  • put finance at the heart of the offer, including deploying an awareness campaign to target UK exporters most likely to benefit from up to £50 billion worth of export finance and insurance support from UK Export Finance (UKEF), and promoting UKEF support in overseas markets to help UK companies and consortia win contracts.

This comes as the government continues to roll out sector deals as part of the Industrial Strategy, boosting jobs and growth in the areas where the UK has a competitive edge – now supporting the export of this expertise across the world.

Research shows that companies that export have increased growth potential, are more productive and have better paid jobs. Last year £620 billion of goods and services exported by British companies accounted for 30% of our GDP, with UK exports at a record high.

The Department for International Trade estimates that 400,000 businesses believe they could export but don’t.

In a speech to a business audience in London, International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP said:

"The United Kingdom is a great exporting nation and our exporters lead the way, in creating jobs, raising wages and growing our economy.

UK businesses are superbly placed to capitalise on the rapid changes in the global economic environment and I believe the UK has the potential to be a 21st century exporting superpower.

As an international economic department, we are determined to support, connect and grow UK companies on the world stage through our international network.

As we leave the EU, we must set our sights high and that is just what this Export Strategy will help us achieve."

Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department of International Trade, said:

"Since its creation 2 years ago, DIT has already helped thousands of UK companies to export – with exports now at a record high.

As the world’s sixth largest exporter, we do punch above our weight, however, we also punch below our potential. This Export Strategy sets out to change that and to increase exports as a proportion of GDP from 30% to 35%, taking us from the middle of the G7 to near the top. This is ambitious, but achievable.

This strategy builds on the UK Industrial Strategy and our existing export support services – our network of trade advisers and promoters across the UK and in 108 countries worldwide, UKEF’s £50 billion capacity to support exports in 60 currencies, and our service. To achieve our aim, government must join up across departments to enable UK companies to succeed overseas.

This strategy is a first step – a foundation – for a new national drive to export."

The government’s new network of HM Trade Commissioners will help improve government-to-government relationships to reduce tariff and market access barriers as we leave the EU.

The strategy builds on an already strong DIT offer to businesses which includes 250 International Trade Advisors around the UK, showcased export opportunities on and UKEF support such as trade finance.



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