Chemicals sector: export help

Guidance for UK companies involved in the chemicals sector on exporting overseas.

The UK chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, is one of the world’s top chemical-producing nations. It is the second largest industry in the UK, in terms of both turnover and value added. The latest figures show the sector turned over £57.5 billion and added £18.8 billion in value.

How DIT can help

The Department for International Trade (DIT) helps the UK chemicals sector do more business internationally. We work with the industry representative organisations as well as with individual businesses. We help them engage with export opportunities overseas in close co-operation with the network of embassies and consulates around the globe. We work closely with other Whitehall departments to ensure that policies and initiatives are well co-ordinated with business.

DIT helps UK companies:

  • increase their presence in overseas markets
  • overcome difficulties getting in to markets
  • develop supply chain opportunities
  • partner internationally in technology innovation

We do this by:

  • promoting opportunities arising from prime contractors supply chains, ideally at pre-bidding stage
  • promoting the industry overseas through the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys, and our Embassies and High Commissions
  • working with the Chemistry Growth Partnership (CGP), made up of representatives from government and industry
  • developing relationships with international chemicals companies, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 suppliers
  • aligning with UK based Tier 1 contractors to position UK supply chain companies effectively for future export opportunities

Contact DIT

We’d like to hear from companies in the chemicals sector wanting to grow their business overseas. Sign up and meet with a trade advisor.

Find out about DIT services for exporters

Chemicals events

Register your interest to attend DIT chemicals events, including missions and webinars.

  • network with potential overseas customers
  • demonstrate technologies and products to an international audience
  • meet face to face with DIT advisers


DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Find export opportunities.


You may need some form of credit guarantee or insurance to protect you against non-payment or other financial issues in certain markets. UK Export Finance (UKEF) can provide extra capital to finance large projects and help grow business.

Watch our videos on the help UKEF can give on trade finance and managing payment risk.

Consult with a UKEF export finance adviser to find out about trade finance and insurance support.

UK Export Finance: Pointing your business in the right direction

Trade Associations

You can find chemicals sector trade associations on the Trade Association Forum

Published 23 December 2014