Made in the UK, Sold to the World: New strategy to boost exports to £1 trillion

The Government has launched an ambitious new ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ plan to help businesses across the UK double exports and sell their world-class products around the globe.

The 12-point export strategy - published on Wednesday 17 November by the Department for International Trade - will give businesses the tools they need to become a nation of exporters and reap the benefits of our free trade deals.

It includes an Export Support Service that offers a one-stop shop for exporting advice, and the launch of a new UK Tradeshow Programme better-tailored to help businesses, particularly those outside London and the South East, to attend and promote their products around the world.

DIT will also be expanding its Export Academy – launched in October – to roll it out across all of the UK including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The academy will invite owners and managers of SMEs to access masterclasses, roundtables and networking events that help them overcome common challenges first-time exporters face.

The UK exported £600 billion in goods and services last year (1), but only around one in ten GB businesses currently export (2) – with the number of goods exporters falling behind continental competitors like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands (3).

Unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help level up the country and boost the UK’s economy, with government commissioned research estimating that exports supported 6.5 million jobs across the UK in 2016, and showing that exporters pay higher wages. Separate analysis shows that goods exporting businesses are on average 21 percent more productive.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is calling on businesses to ‘Race to a Trillion’ by seizing huge untapped opportunities on offer in the world’s fast-growing markets.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, said:

This is a defining moment in our national trading story. As we agree ambitious new trade deals around the world, it is more vital than ever that businesses across the UK take advantage of these opportunities and unleash their full exporting potential.

Our export strategy will help more businesses start exporting and help those who already export to sell more products to more countries. Reaching £1 trillion worth of exports by the end of this decade means more jobs, more opportunities and higher wages helping the UK to level up and build back better.
This week, DIT is running the inaugural International Trade Week, featuring a series of over 100 events and workshops across the country hosted by expert trade advisers aimed to help businesses to take advantage of the export support available to them.

Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP, said:

We know businesses are at different points on their exporting journey. Some are already successful exporters but want to sell more products or reach new markets. Others are yet to take the leap and export for the first time.

Whatever your story, our tailored support, expertise and international network is here and ready to help you maximise your ambitions and sell to the world.
The strategy - titled ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ - will see government work hand-in-hand with business to help them to succeed in the global marketplace through a first-class export support framework.

It will help replicate higher levels of exporting seen in the South East of England across all parts of the country to deliver on the Prime Minister’s ambition to level up the UK, and transform the country into a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy.

The 12-point strategy includes:

Launching the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign, championing the UK’s priority sectors through an innovative, localised marketing campaign that will promote the best of British goods and services in our towns and cities.
The Export Support Service provides a single point of contact for exporters to Europe. Since launching in October the new export hotline and online service has helped hundreds of businesses to get exporting (4).
UK Export Academy expansion to offer SMEs in all parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the chance to learn how to navigate the technicalities of exporting and how to find new opportunities in overseas markets.
A new UK Tradeshow Programme will be bigger and better targeted to give UK companies, especially SMEs, a leg-up to exhibit their first-class products at the world’s biggest tradeshows.
UK Export Finance - our world-leading export credit agency - will expand its offer with new products and a wider delivery network that will make it easier for UK exporters to secure business from overseas buyers.
Export Champions, ensuring businesses can build and learn from exporting successes through business-to-business networking and peer-to-peer learning
Internationalisation Fund, open to SMEs in England, will aim to grow international sales, and has facilitated £4 million of support to SMEs attending Trade Fairs.
CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria said:

The UK economy is at an inflection point. While current challenges in global trade persist and business continue to adjust to the UK’s new relationship with the EU, firms need to have an eye to future opportunities. The government has stepped up to provide greater practical support for exporters, and we now need to work together to get more British businesses thinking global for growth.

The new Trade in Services Council (TISC) - called for and coordinated by the CBI - reflects the sector’s importance to the UK economy. It is crucial we better understand and articulate the value of this vital sector as we seek to level up, build globally competitive regions, and develop the goods and services which will drive decarbonisation.
British Chambers of Commerce Director-General, Shevaun Haviland said:

More than 60% of Chamber members export overseas compared to just 10% of all businesses UK-wide. To turn the UK into the global economic powerhouse it deserves to be that has to change, and the launch of the DIT’s export strategy is a really positive step toward making that happen.

DIT are keen to work with Government to lift export-led growth in sustainable goods, services and technologies for companies the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. We are uniquely placed to help with our unrivalled expertise in trade facilitation, the advice, training and brokerage services of Chamber Customs and the extensive market access provided by our 76 international chambers. Once you open the door to international trade the possibilities for expansion are endless.
Federation of Small Businesses National Chair, Mike Cherry said:

As the voice of the UK’s small business community, FSB has been pleased to help develop today’s Export Strategy. For too long small firms have been faced with difficulty getting onto the exporting ladder, so we’re pleased to see many of these fundamental issues tackled head-on in this export plan.

In a recent export report published by DIT, they proposed simplifying how small firms can export, improving access to tradeshows support service and information on FTAs, as well as boosting trade skills. These will go a long way to seeing the numbers of exporters rise. Increasing small business exports will drive prosperity and growth, protecting the economic recovery from COVID.


Main source: Department for International Trade
Other sources:
Source: ONS UK Trade September 2021
Source (data is for 2019): ONS Annual Business Survey
Sources (data is for 2017): OECD Trade by enterprise characteristics and OECD Structural and Demographic Business Statistics
Source: DIT Management Information collected from ESS telephone and digital systems. Since operational to 5 November, the telephone helpline (operational 1 October) received 786 enquiries and the digital enquiry service (operational 22 July) received 785 enquiries. Data has had basic quality assurance checks and is subject to revision.

25th November 2021

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