Key measures announced in the Autumn Statement yesterday (23 November) included:
- financial support for UK exporters will double through UK Export Finance (UKEF)
- the Department for International Trade (DIT) will receive £79.4 million to develop and deliver an independent international trade policy
UKEF, the UK’s export credit agency, will make it easier for UK businesses to break into overseas markets and export UK goods and services. This additional support through UKEF will ensure that no viable UK export should fail for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector.
The new measures will see UKEF’s total risk appetite double to £5 billion and the maximum cover limit for individual markets increase by up to 100%, potentially resulting in as much as £2.5 billion of additional capacity to support exports to some destinations. The number of pre-approved local currencies in which UKEF can offer support also increased from 10 to 40, enabling more overseas buyers of UK exports to buy British and pay in their own currency.
DIT will receive an additional £79.4 million over the Parliament funded from existing spending aggregates to build our capability and help support a smooth exit from the EU and negotiations for the best possible global trading arrangements for the UK.
As the UK moves towards leaving the EU, additional resource will be allocated to strengthen trade policy capability in DIT, in cooperation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), totalling £26 million a year by 2019 to 2020. This will ensure the department can build on the Trade Policy Group’s expertise and experience to operate and negotiate on the global stage.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
Leaving the EU presents the UK with new opportunities in trade and investment, and this Autumn Statement sends the clearest message to the world that the UK is open for business.
Government is determined to get the best deals for households and UK businesses and this settlement ensures we’re able to support more UK exporters, attract more overseas buyers and strengthen our capability to develop and deliver an international trade policy for the UK.
The Autumn Statement also includes for UKEF measures to support an enhanced approach to risk management, including the use of private insurance markets, to manage risk concentrations. This could create additional appetite to support UK exports in popular markets, amplifying the benefits of the other capacity-increasing measures.
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