As the negotiations on the UK exit agreement from the European Union reaches a critical point, the Westminster government has published a new export strategy which it hopes will drive new business opportunities for UK companies in the years ahead.
Details of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) plans can be found at the government’s own website.
The paper spells out how the government, in partnership with public and private sector providers, will offer export support to encourage businesses to explore new markets and overcome any perceived barriers to exporting.
The DIT strategy has five key points for the future. Firstly, the public-private sector-government triad means easier access for SMEs. Secondly, digital services will be encouraged. Thirdly, value for money will be targeted. Fourthly, the government will facilitate but not duplicate export assistance. And finally, the strategy will be led by business.
Most business leaders recognise that selling overseas can be transformative for many companies. Not only does it mean increased productivity, but it can also improve competitiveness in domestic markets.
New business means some companies may need to improve their stocking and warehousing to meet new targets. Existing EU markets may offer solutions. When looking at pallet racking Ireland offers leading examples of the latest solutions via sites such as https://www.rackzone.ie/pallet-racking.
The government’s new strategy is aimed at not only helping companies who already contribute to the £620bn boost to the economy seen in 2017 (30% of GDP), but also smaller SMEs who find entering the export market difficult. The DIT proposes the creation of a network of Export Champions, who already reach global markets, to inspire other companies to seek out new opportunities.
The DIT is also keen to promote the guidance, support and finance which is already in place to help drive exports and has appointed HM Trade Commissioners to target nine international market regions to identify opportunities. Overseas purchasers will also be encouraged via UKEF export financing and procurement fairs.
UKEF will also provide finance for export contracts where traditional lending is not available. SMEs are being targeted for this kind of help under the new strategy.
There has been some criticism of the announcement. Reading through the document, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to online trade and e-commerce. This may be re-visited.