News story

International Trade Secretary - 2017 must be 'Year of Exporting'

Liam Fox calls on businesses to seize export opportunities as DIT identifies 50 key countries for growing trade.

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The government is urging businesses to make 2017 the year of exporting as it encourages them to seek new markets and seize the demand for British goods and services.

Exports contribute over £511 billion to the UK’s GDP and with a renewed focus on international trade the government has identified opportunities in over 20 sectors spanning over 50 countries for UK businesses to look at supplying into.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is now developing almost 200 high value exporting campaigns to target these markets and sectors and help companies make their mark abroad.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

With a new year comes new opportunities and I want to encourage businesses big and small, up and down the country, to take advantage of them. From technology in India to aerospace in the USA there’s no shortage of demand and UK businesses have the knowledge, skills and expertise to truly add value and make the UK a partner of choice.

We are world-leaders in many sectors such as financial services and technology. My department has already identified more than 50 countries that could benefit from British expertise and we are continuing work on exploring more export opportunities with other nations. We have a real opportunity to build on this country’s wide range of successful exports, reach out to new markets and help more businesses achieve their exporting potential.

DIT is doing all it can to help companies achieve success through actively making representations to overseas buyers and governments, organising key meetings and missions, showcasing UK products to overseas buyers and providing direct financial support through UK Export Finance.

As well as this, the department continues to work closely with its network of 44 Business Ambassadors and 20 Trade Envoys to regularly identify prospective markets, promote the strengths of the UK and ultimately secure more business for the UK.

Specific examples of projects include:

  • a £0.5 million deal to export Air Traffic Control software to Latin America
  • a £100 million deal to export solar farm technology to Africa
  • a £ multi-million negotiation to export more whisky overseas
  • a £5 million deal to export a television programme to the United States
  • a £50 million deal to build an amusement park in China

More broadly, potential business opportunities identified by the department include:

  • renewable energy projects in Kenya;
  • advanced manufacturing in Brazil;
  • infrastructure projects, for example airports and railways in Hong Kong and mainland China;
  • construction in the Philippines
  • financial services to the likes of Australia or Brazil;
  • technology to India, Japan or Mexico;
  • healthcare to China and the Gulf

Focusing its activity where it can add real value and where businesses will see a strong return on investment, DIT’s work sits alongside its efforts to increase the number of companies exporting and follows on from the launch of a new digital hub – www.great.gov.uk – in November 2016.

The government’s new online exporting hub has over a thousand live opportunities available right now for UK companies looking to export.

Notes to Editors

  1. due to commercial sensitivities, it is not possible to provide a full list of all campaigns
  2. the Department for International Trade has identified opportunities in over 50 markets which include:
    • Africa; Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; the Gulf; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Lithuania; Malaysia; Mexico; Mongolia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Oman; Philippines; Poland; Qatar; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; USA; Ukraine
  3. these opportunities span a wide range of sectors where the government believes it can add value and where businesses will see a strong return on investment. These are:
    • advanced manufacturing; aerospace; automotive; bio-economy; consumer goods and retail; creative industries; defence and security; education; energy; financial services; food and drink; healthcare; infrastructure; life sciences; oil and gas; nuclear; professional services; sports economy; technology
Published 9 January 2017