Policy

Exports and inward investment

Issue

Inward investment into the UK economy created or secured more than 112,000 jobs in 2011 to 2012 according to UKTI’s inward investment report for 2012 to 2013.

The government wants to double the UK’s exports to £1 trillion by 2020 and attract more inward investment in UK infrastructure projects.

We are determined to remain one of the top countries for ease of doing business, by providing more support for British businesses to export their goods and services, and reducing corporation tax to competitive levels.

Actions

UK Export Finance supports exports through its range of products and services. These include guarantees to banks for loans used to purchase UK exports and insurance against non-payment. Its remit is to complement and not compete with the export insurance and finance available from the private sector.

In 2011 UK Export Finance broadened its business domain and product range to provide support for exports sold on short terms of payment. It offers a Bond Support Scheme and an Export Working Capital Scheme and, to help smaller exporters access the right support, it operates a network of regional Export Finance Advisers.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) offers services to businesses who are looking to or already exporting overseas. They also help overseas companies who want set up and invest in the UK.

International trade advisers are able to provide advice on a range of UKTI services to UK companies, including financial subsidies, export documentation, contacts in overseas markets, overseas visits, e-commerce, export training and market research. They are located in over 40 local offices around the country. UKTI also has sector specialists who can provide support to specific industries. Companies can book a face to face meeting with a trade adviser.

UKTI trade teams located in embassies, high commissions and consulates work with companies to identify overseas opportunities or the right contacts and potential partners in a specific country though the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

UKTI’s Passport to Export is an assessment and skills-based programme that gives new and inexperienced exporters the training, planning and ongoing support needed to succeed overseas. Passport to Export also helps companies to research and visit selected markets.

The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) provides grants to help businesses who want to take part in overseas trade exhibitions and increase their knowledge about markets.

Experienced exporters are able to apply for the UKTI Gateway to Global Growth scheme which offers a 12 month programme of specific support focused on their needs.

UKTI’s Export Communications Review gives companies advice on language and cultural issues to improve their competitiveness in export markets.

UK companies can get free independent advice on how to carry out marketing research through UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme. It can help them decide if they should export to a new market and how best to deliver products and services. It can also provide financial support for a marketing research project in certain circumstances.

UKTI established the UK Advisory Network in 2007 so government and the private sector could work closer together on giving help to investors setting up in the UK. The network gives companies more easier access to private sector expertise.

The government is simplifying and reducing corporation tax to encourage inward investment. The current rate of corporation tax is 21% making it the fourth lowest in the G20. The government is lowering the rate of corporation tax to 20% in 2015 which will be the joint lowest in the G20

Through our networks overseas, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides information to UK businesses to help guard against risk when operating overseas. They also offer timely political and economic updates which highlight key factors in emerging markets and help businesses identify and pursue new opportunities.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is establishing a new government-owned company, the British Intergovernment Services Authority (BISA), to help the UK benefit from government to government contracts with other countries.

BISA has been specifically set up to manage these contracts and help facilitate and deliver opportunities for British companies across the entire supply chain, from major prime contractors to SMEs. It is not yet trading but in 2014 it is expected to grow into a fully operational company, with its own chief executive and board. For more information contact Jolyon Welsh, Head of Government to Government Contracting, FCO, by email at jolyon.welsh@fco.gov.uk

Background

The FCO’s Business Charter, published in 2011, shows how Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) resources can meet the needs of British business. It is part of the FCO’s work to create lasting prosperity for the UK, explaining the specific contribution that the FCO makes to support business across the world.

UKTI has an ongoing programme of research that looks into the effect of exporting on UK companies across the economy.

UKTI’s publication ‘Bringing home the benefits: how to grow through exporting’ found that for many UK companies the decision to grow through exporting has been profitable. Those companies who venture into new export markets tend to be rewarded both directly through boosted turnover, and indirectly through improved levels of efficiency, innovation and credibility