Government launches Export Strategy

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP, has set out how the government will make Britain a 21st century exporting superpower through better use of overseas network, new online tools and building an extensive business to business network.

The launch 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.

Last year £620 billion of goods and services exported by British companies accounted for 30% of 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.

Dr Fox, joined by Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, have set out the government’s long-term ambition to go further and increase total exports as a proportion of GDP to 35%.

Responding to a call from business, The Export Strategy outlines how the government will produce smarter and more tailored support to UK companies. There are key elements to the strategy to support companies selling overseas:

  • encourage and inspire more businesses to export
  • inform businesses by providing information, advice and practical assistance on exporting
  • connect UK businesses to overseas buyers, markets and each other
  • put finance at the heart of our offer

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.”

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.

For further information on the Strategy, visit the website here.