Corporate report

2020 Export Drive

Published 19 December 2014

1. Introduction

The UK’s economic recovery is the Government’s top priority, with success in international markets a key part of it. Research shows companies that export are more profitable, more productive and more innovative than those that don’t. Eighty six per cent of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) clients said that exporting led to a level of growth not otherwise possible (compared to 57 per cent of companies not using UKTI services). Companies that export become 34 per cent more productive in the first year alone.

The role of UKTI, along with its parent departments, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), is to help UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. UKTI’s staff are drawn from BIS, FCO and private sector secondees and specialists, and about half are based in the UK, including over 320 international trade advisers providing direct support to small and medium-sized businesses in the nine English regions.

UKTI works with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to support exporters and promote international trade. The remaining half of UKTI’s staff are based in Embassies and High Commissions, working alongside FCO Prosperity colleagues. The FCO is represented in 260 offices around the world, removing barriers to trade for UK companies and improving the economic conditions in which they do business.

Over the course of this Government, UKTI supported by FCO and BIS, has boosted trade and investment levels significantly. The vast majority of businesses we support are small companies, and 72 per cent of our customers have fewer than 50 employees. We have increased the number of businesses we support from 27,000 in 2009/10 to almost 48,000 in 2013/14, while in the last year UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided over £2 billion of support to help companies win or fulfil export contracts they may not otherwise have been able to.

The FCO plays a vital role in supporting UK exports, by promoting the conditions for growth in which exports can thrive and helping businesses to identify and pursue new opportunities. Work to promote structural reforms; tackle market access barriers; engage on trade policy deals, on tax, transparency and growth in the G20; and tackle corruption all have a huge impact on exports. Our work to build science, innovation and research partnerships and to promote energy security, energy competitiveness and green growth also helps to promote the right conditions for growth. The UK’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners around the world are accountable for their role in the whole-of-Government approach to the 2020 Export Drive.

Trade and investment relies ultimately on entrepreneurial, forward- and outward-looking individuals and companies to lead the charge. But the aspiration to export £1 trillion of goods and services by 2020 also requires a bolder, more ambitious, focused and collaborative approach from Government and our partners in business and industry, ensuring we are united in taking every opportunity to support UK exporters. The 2020 Export Drive does exactly that.

The UK is one of the most open economies in the world, with significant trade and financial links with other countries. While the EU now accounts for less than half of goods and services exported from the UK, the EU remains the UK’s largest trading partner and UK export performance is highly dependent on the economic performance of the euro area. Recent weak euro area growth has led to weak import demand from the EU countries. Demand has also been weak in the US, the UK’s other core export market. Japan is now in recession, and the euro area economy remains weak. As a result, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised down its forecast for world trade growth.

UK exports have also been affected by the strength of sterling, and also by the export of erratics (e.g. fuels, precious metals/stones, aircraft, ships), which have not been as strong as in the past. The OBR expects the strength of sterling and the weakness of UK export markets to continue to bear down on export growth. Export growth is now forecast to be 2.4 per cent in 2015 (down from 4.7 per cent forecast in March), recovering to just under 5 per cent from 2016.

However, UK exporters have continued to expand into other markets and since 2010 the volume of goods exported to non-EU countries has increased by 18.7 per cent. It is imperative that we connect British firms to high growth markets in Asia, South America and Africa to realise the potential there, while also strengthening our position in Europe and other developed markets, and influencing free trade agreements with our key trading partners.

2. How we are effecting change

The scale of our ambition requires a fresh, whole-of-Government approach in partnership with the private sector. We must use all available levers to drive an increase in exports, shaping a positive export environment in which British businesses can prosper internationally, playing to our combined strengths and seizing every opportunity to drive a step change in the volume and value of UK exports. UKTI, with FCO and BIS, is leading the coordination of all efforts in the 2020 Export Drive, ensuring that our priorities are coherent and shared across Government and with our overseas network and business partners. We are focused on where Government can add value and make the most difference:

  • Focusing on high growth sectors, countries and high value opportunities: targeting cross-Government working on the best opportunities for UK success
  • Supporting structural economic reforms and tackling market access barriers internationally that will make the biggest difference to British companies
  • Influencing through the EU and internationally to secure and exploit free trade agreements to benefit UK plc
  • Leading from the front, with senior Ministers from all Departments leading negotiations and trade missions to open up new markets and opportunities for UK business
  • Inspiring, encouraging and supporting small and medium-sized businesses to take their first export steps, or to explore new markets, working together with private sector partners
  • Ensuring that UKEF is competitive with its overseas counterparts and agile and responsive to the needs of UK exporters
  • Promoting positive perceptions of the UK and British products and services internationally, through the GREAT Britain campaign
  • Shaping the UK domestic market through our Industrial Strategy to provide the right conditions for export growth now and in the long term
  • Maintaining the UK as a competitive location for investment, with a focus on attracting investors with export potential
  • Capitalising on unique world events such as Milan Expo and the Commonwealth Games to achieve global recognition for UK goods and services.

3. Exploiting priority sector and country opportunities

Our ambition to reach £1 trillion in exports means more rigorous prioritisation of opportunities and spotting those new sector and country opportunities that offer the greatest rewards for UK businesses, now and in the longer term. Working with multiple business partners, UKTI, FCO and BIS have identified opportunities in specific markets and sectors where there is the best fit for UK expertise, which then translate into a market-by-market, sector-by-sector plan for how whole-of-Government support will underpin UK business success. A clear focus across Government, working with business, is crucial and the approach we are taking is already paying dividends. Examples of our priority sector and market activities include:


Healthcare UK was launched in January 2013 and is jointly funded by UKTI, the Department of Health and NHS England. In its first full year of operation it helped UK companies and healthcare organisations from both the public and private sectors win £556 million of business overseas and developed a register of qualified leads and opportunities with a combined potential value of £10.8 billion. This included the signing of a letter of intent between Sinophi Healthcare and the Huai’an City government in China to build a 1,000 bed regional oncology hospital to serve over 20 million patients in northern Jiangsu.

Food & drink

The agri-food and drink sector is worth over £100 billion for UK GVA and is the country’s largest manufacturing sector. The UK Food and Drink International Action Plan was launched in October 2013 to grow exports. It delivers improvements in promotion, trade development, unlocks markets and simplifies support and trade procedures for industry. It is managed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and UKTI, with strong industry engagement. It is proving successful and welcomed by the industry: exports increased by £700 million last year to a total of £18.9 billion. Next year, Defra will continue to lead the UK’s interests, working closely with industry and Devolved Administration colleagues to secure more market access, complement UKTI’s direct action with individual companies in the UK and overseas, develop a range of contributions to the Grown in Britain Global Business Programme running during Milan Expo 2015 and look to build on the success so far of the Food is GREAT brand.

Oil & gas

Global investment in the development and production of oil & gas (O&G) is expected to grow by 48 per cent by 2020, representing an annual investment of US$695 billion. More than 60 per cent of this investment is expected to come from 15 major national and international oil and gas companies. UKTI is working with business to identify opportunities throughout the supply chain for UK exporters. This approach is paying dividends and contracts worth £8.7 billion have already been won across a range of markets including Brazil, East Africa, Iraq, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

The joint Government and industry O&G Sector Advisory Group is currently working to identify experienced industry secondees to be placed in overseas offices to support, develop and scope O&G High Value Opportunities (HVO) in Tanzania, Mexico, Houston and Norway. The new cross-Whitehall International Energy Unit is working to improve conditions for UK business in overseas energy markets, e.g. helping to shape energy reform in Mexico, a market worth up to US$30 billion a year.

O&G is a priority sector for UKEF support and recently they offered a US$2 billion line of credit to Saudi Aramco for the Sadara Petrochemical project in Saudi Arabia. Working alongside UKTI and the Energy Industries Council, UKEF hosted an event to introduce UK companies to the project sponsors and help the sponsors identify potential UK suppliers to bid for work on the project. Major contracts worth approximately £825 million were awarded to Fluor, Jacobs and Foster Wheeler, while a further 160 UK companies in the supply chain of the three main UK contractors have also benefited from the support provided.

Creative industries

The Government is committed to supporting the UK’s £71 billion creative sector. Government has introduced tax relief for high-end television programmes, animation, video games and theatre productions and expanded the successful tax relief scheme for films. In his 2014 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced further support, with a new tax relief for children’s television programmes from April 2015, creating a more competitive domestic production market which will drive further growth in exports and revenues. The Creative Industries International Strategy, launched in June 2014 represents a real partnership between Government and industry. It sets challenging targets for industry and Government alike, providing an action plan to reach out to the UK’s creative businesses and provide them with the right support to internationalise.

Defence & security

The defence and security industries, including cyber security, make a vital contribution to the UK economy, and UK exports in these sectors rose to £13 billion in 2013 - a 13 per cent increase on 2012. Within that, cyber security exports rose 22 per cent. The cyber security market is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide, forecast to grow by around 20 per cent per annum. Government and industry work together to secure UK defence and security exports. The recently established Defence Growth Partnership aims to secure a truly competitive, sustainable, and globally successful UK defence sector that continues to deliver world-class capability to the Armed Forces as well as wider economic benefits to the UK.

The Security Export Strategy published in February 2014 sets out how the Government will support UK security exports, thereby increasing the UK’s share of the global security export market. The UK has a global reputation as a leader in cyber security policy and technology, both as a sector in its own right and as an important component of other priority sectors. Building on this, Government, industry and academia are also working together through the Security and Cyber Growth Partnerships to boost the UK’s global market position in cyber security products and services.

Winning High Value Opportunities

UKTI’s High Value Opportunity (HVO) programme targets around 100 major projects globally, covering a range of markets and sectors. UKTI leverages expertise from across its international network, other Government departments and the private sector, to bring to bear the full range of access, finance, political and other support available. Since the HVO programme started, it has supported UK companies at all levels of the supply chain to access more than £17 billion of contracts.

We help our businesses access the consortia and supply chains linked to these major projects, backed by high-level political support including through the personal intervention of Ministers and Ambassadors, promoting a strong UK offer that wins contracts. Earlier this year, UK education providers won four new contracts worth £850 million to establish 12 technical and vocational training colleges in Saudi Arabia.

In total, 100 colleges are being set up across Saudi Arabia as part of its Colleges of Excellence programme, aimed at improving education and training. UKTI Education, a joint initiative between BIS and UKTI, brought together consortia to bid for these high value contracts, a number of which were won due to the financing support provided by UKEF. These new wins mean that UK education providers will operate 16 of the 37 colleges let to date.

HVO success UKTI has identified substantial HVO opportunities around Brazil’s shipyard and shipbuilding programmes. These include shipbuilding, ship repair and the supply of equipment for leisure boats, naval dockyards, shipyards and commercial vessels. Opportunities exist throughout the supply chain as Worldwide Marine Technology (WMT) found out. WMT, who employ 40 people, produce manuals for the oil & gas and marine industries. The company has recently secured contracts to supply shuttle-tanker dynamic-positioning procedure manuals for container ships and bulk carriers to Log-in Logistica.

4. Influencing internationally to secure economic growth and reforms

The purpose of the Government’s economic diplomacy, led by the FCO, is to create the long-term economic conditions in which British companies can thrive overseas. This means working bilaterally and through international organisations for open economies and free trade around the world; promoting transparency and a rules-based economic system; tackling corruption; reinforcing the reputation of the UK and its products; managing strategic risk to supply chains through a global climate deal; and identifying and pursuing long-term business opportunities.

Realising the potential of high growth markets, while maintaining growth in established markets

The high growth markets we are targeting all expect significant import growth between 2015 and 2020. This growth is in part due to the rise of the global middle class. The OECD forecasts that this will double to almost five billion by 2030, presenting a great opportunity for UK firms to export the types of products and services at which we excel.

Government is making a tangible difference by lobbying hard for EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The UK was influential in shaping the 2011 EU-Korea FTA, which not only eliminated tariffs but also addressed many regulatory barriers. Since its signature, UK exports have almost doubled in value and the UK now has a trade surplus with Korea. Government’s work continues long after FTAs are agreed to ensure the benefits are fully maximised. For example, UKTI works to increase UK companies’ awareness of the opportunities which are opened up while FCO uses Prosperity Fund projects to directly support implementation or to build capacity among local institutions.

We are increasing our focus on China, India, Brazil, Central Europe, Africa and the Pacific Alliance countries of Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile. In his 2014 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the FCO would deliver a £25 million ‘surge for growth’ programme to support projects and trade agreements across the world.

The FCO lobbies on behalf of British companies and uses its knowledge of the local political, economic and security situation in overseas markets to help UK business to pursue new opportunities, manage risk and build relationships with the right decision makers. The FCO has deployed more staff, and increased its foreign language capability in the fastest growing regions including ASEAN and Latin America as well as China and India. This strengthened diplomatic network overseas means that we are well placed to support British companies in these rapidly growing markets. For example, as a result of our lobbying, Singapore, South East Asia’s commercial and financial hub, recently signed the OECD’s multilateral tax agreement and, with Indonesia, it is joining a G20/OECD initiative on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. In China, with the UK Intellectual Property Office, FCO is addressing British business concerns on a range of intellectual property issues, supporting over 160 company cases last year.

We are linking FCO economic diplomacy with priority sectors. For example, in Mexico, we helped the Mexican government in its efforts to open up the telecoms sector – worth an estimated US$9 billion. Due to these reforms, the Mexican Government expects Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to increase by US$5 billion this year; and this has in turn created a specific opportunity for British company Virgin Mobile, who has now announced plans to expand their business into Mexico.

Green growth, propelled by a global climate deal, presents a huge opportunity - around US$6 trillion by 2050 in the environmental sustainability sector alone. UK companies are well placed to win new business - the UK is sixth largest exporter in the sector and 92 per cent of UK business leaders think that green growth is an opportunity for their companies. The FCO works to open new green markets and promote UK green technology expertise.

Securing growth in Europe and the US

Pursuing high growth markets must not be at the expense of our established trading partners. Europe and the US remain our two largest trading partners, with over 60 per cent of UK exports going to these destinations. BIS and FCO are collaborating with EU partners to complete the EU single market in services and the digital economy and energy, and are strong supporters of removing barriers to trade, including through multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements.

Securing an EU-US agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the Government’s top trade priority for 2015. TTIP has the potential to be the largest bilateral trade agreement in the world and will give UK businesses greater access to over 300 million consumers.

Small businesses in particular stand to benefit from TTIP. They will be able to meet one common standard in areas such as environmental and safety controls. This means they will be free to invest more time and resources on innovation and product development rather than meeting two different sets of standards. TTIP will sweep away tariff barriers that can put off smaller companies, making it easier for them to export. It also means more choice and lower prices for consumers.

Independent analysis shows that an ambitious agreement could eventually add as much as £10 billion annually to the UK economy, which is why Government is pushing for a broad agreement that eliminates the vast majority of tariffs, as well as addressing behind-the-border barriers across all sectors of the economy. It will be a number of years before the full benefits of TTIP are delivered but the negotiating process is highlighting the potential of the US market to new or expanding exporters and could therefore raise businesses’ ambition even before agreement is reached.

UK efforts to deliver free trade agreements at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will also deliver an economic boost to the UK. The FCO and BIS worked closely to help secure a historic deal at the WTO Conference in Bali in December 2013. UK diplomats have engaged key countries since then to help the WTO successfully seal the Trade Facilitation Agreement in November 2014. Trade Facilitation involves reducing red tape at borders, increasing the efficiency of customs processes, reducing costs and increasing global trade flows. The UK stands to gain by around £1 billion annually.

As part of the UK’s Lough Erne Legacy, we are pursuing a number of initiatives on tax, trade and transparency, including the automatic exchange of information for tax to which 93 countries have now signed up, and extractives transparency. At the G20 summit in Brisbane we worked for agreement to an anti-corruption action plan and to beneficial ownership principles.

The FTA between the EU and South Korea has enabled our prices to be set at a competitive level in this market, compared to others. This, I am sure, has been one of the reasons that Cheaney has grown more each year in South Korea.

Jonathan Church, Joint Managing Director, Joseph Cheaney and Sons

Regulatory coherence means administration in Westfield will decrease and allow the US access to all of our products [some of which they could not previously import]. This will increase our turnover with the US and streamline a number of processes and procedures in the business.

Julian Turner, Managing Director, Westfield Sports Cars, commenting on the benefits of TTIP

5. Leading from the front with Ministers and senior business champions

With over 120 British companies, the Prime Minister led the UK’s largest ever business delegation to China in December 2013. Half of the companies on the mission were small and medium-sized businesses.

As well as supporting the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer’s trade missions, UKTI and FCO work with Ministers across Government to ensure every overseas visit is used to lobby on behalf of British businesses. Lord Livingston, as Minister for Trade and Investment, and Cabinet Ministers play a key role in promoting British companies and products abroad.

The Foreign Secretary has so far visited half of all EU Member States since his appointment in July 2014 as part of a campaign to promote European economic reform and the benefits of TTIP for British businesses.

The Department for Transport (DfT) delivered the first joint UK/Ireland ministerial trade mission to Singapore in 2014.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs travelled to Paris for SIAL, the world’s biggest food and drink fair; and will visit China in January, seeking to open their market to more UK meat products.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport leads an international visits programme supporting the creative industries sector, recently visiting India, Japan and Korea. As part of the Korea visit he led a mission of 19 British gaming developers and publishers that were attending G-Star 2014, one of the largest games industry events in the Asia-Pacific region.

UKTI’s network of Trade Envoys and Business Ambassadors is also very active; as senior business leaders, appointed by the Prime Minister, they champion UK sector capabilities both at home and overseas.

6. Creating new initiatives to encourage exporters

Investment in export support for small businesses across the UK has increased significantly over the course of this Government. This year we have launched or announced a range of targeted export initiatives to deliver the step change required to increase UK exports. These initiatives focus on key audience segments and the priority sectors and markets we have identified. They include:

Partnering with the private sector

Potential and existing exporters routinely seek and use support from professional services firms. The four largest accountancy firms have around 750,000 staff in over 150 countries and audit 99 per cent of the FTSE 100 and the majority of the FTSE 350. The 5.2 million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK all use banking services.

UKTI, and the wider Government, has long worked closely and successfully with major retail banks and consultancies to support the trade agenda, including joint events, missions, marketing and sponsorship. We are now creating strategic partnerships and deepening whole-of-Government relationships with these organisations, to connect our powerful global networks of trusted advisers, services and know-how to offer a stronger range of support and advice to a much greater number of potential and existing exporters.

Transforming business-to-business trade support is integral to our ambitions. UKTI is working with British business groups and Chambers of Commerce overseas to help them develop their networks and capabilities, to help deliver a one-stop-shop of services to UK companies.

Santander teams up with UKTI to assist UK exporters

UKTI worked closely with Santander to develop its small and medium-sized business trade mission programme, ‘Breakthrough’, which aims to help fast-growth UK companies break into new markets.

Santander ran its first trade mission in 2011 to New York. UKTI set up a general briefing session at the British Consulate, and its advisers also met with the delegate companies to offer tailored information and contacts in their sector. This is a format that Santander and UKTI have now repeated several times in New York as well as cities in Brazil and Mexico. The programme is delivering results: music streaming company, I Like Music, participated in a Santander trade mission to New York in February 2013 and following further visits has now signed agreements with three companies for distribution rights in North America and Australia.

A drive to encourage first-time exporters

UKTI already reaches significant numbers of very new or first-time exporters, with 18 per cent of clients being classed as ‘new to export’. In his 2014 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that Government will provide a further £20 million to help companies export for the first time. UKTI will introduce a dedicated team of international trade advisers in the English regions to support 10,000 first-time exporters and increase, to 60,000, small and medium-sized businesses’ attendance at international exhibitions.

Export Weeks are part of a concerted campaign across the UK to increase the number of British companies exporting. In November 2014 UKTI, supported by UKEF, held the most successful Export Week ever. 120 trade advisers from 80 different countries toured the UK, providing market-specific expert advice to over 5,500 businesses at 90 different events. UKTI has now held five Export Weeks, supporting a total of 21,600 businesses.

A new e-Exporting campaign

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) leads the Broadband Delivery programme that underpins economic growth and enables British business to trade internationally. UK online retail exports are set to reach £60 billion by 2018, and without superfast broadband that growth would be unachievable.

UKTI’s e-Exporting campaign was launched in September 2014 to assist UK companies of all sizes to increase their exports through online channels. The programme is responding to a global shift in purchasing behaviour as the world’s consumers buy and are influenced by the online environment. Its initial focus is the UK consumer goods sector, identified as the fastest growing sector for online exports. UKTI is working closely with the world’s major e-marketplaces to provide access to UK consumer goods companies so they can market themselves and e-export efficiently through these channels.

The first-time exporters package announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement will also support 5,000 more companies to sell internationally through the internet.

Creating a one-stop-shop for business growth services

In December 2014, BIS launched a single portal for small businesses to apply for advice and support, including export services, tailored to their needs. The Business Growth Service brings Government support schemes together in one place, providing a broad range of expertise to firms with the ambition and capacity to grow.

Advice on offer includes:

  • access to finance
  • developing new ideas and marketing them
  • protecting intellectual property
  • building leadership and management skills
  • exporting for the first time or breaking into new markets
  • improving manufacturing processes and building supply chains
  • connecting with a network of ambitious business leaders

At a regional level, Growth Hubs will be a single point of access for local, national, public and private sector support. Growth Hubs bring together public and private sector partners, often led by the Local Enterprise Partnership or local authority. The Business Growth Service will be embedded in Growth Hubs, so businesses will receive a seamless journey when seeking business support. We are now piloting local delivery in four regions.

Enhancing UKTI support for medium-sized businesses

In January 2014 UKTI announced a specific programme of support for medium-sized businesses (MSBs) to help them start exporting or break into new markets. UKTI helps MSBs with guidance on export strategies, routes to market, international business culture, sources of additional expertise, and access to the unrivalled UKTI global contact network.

The Chancellor announced an additional £4 million funding for MSBs in April 2014. This is enabling UKTI to triple the number of specialist advisers supporting the export ambitions of MSBs. The number of medium-sized businesses helped by UKTI doubled from 1,000 to more than 2,000 in seven months and we are on track to meet our target of 3,000 MSB customers by March 2015.

Increasing UK Export Finance’s capabilities

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has launched new products to provide greater access to finance for UK companies of all sizes and from every sector. It provided support to 50 per cent more companies last year and will look to continue increasing the number of companies assisted year on year. UKEF has introduced a regional network of specialist export finance advisers to provide bespoke support to help UK companies solve the financial challenges involved in selling their goods and services overseas. UKEF and UKTI are now working together to introduce an international finance adviser network in key embassies overseas to act as local representatives for UKEF, helping to identify and seize opportunities where UKEF support could facilitate exports.

In his 2014 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that UKEF will build on these recent developments by digitising its processes so they are more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses. UKEF will also bring forward proposals in early 2015 for improvements to its export working capital scheme, and to support export supply chains subject to changes to legislation currently passing through Parliament.

The British Exporters’ Association ranks UKEF among the top export credit agencies in Europe, while the Global Trade Review’s ‘Leaders in Trade 2014’ survey rated them ‘best export credit agency’.

Taking a targeted marketing approach to encouraging exporters

‘Exporting is GREAT’ is a major theme within the ‘Business is GREAT’ marketing campaign and was designed to inspire small and medium-sized businesses to consider exporting, reassure them about exploring overseas markets, promote the sources of advice and support available to them, and encourage them to take action by making an appointment with one of UKTI’s international trade advisers (

To date, Exporting is GREAT has generated over 5,800 appointments with UKTI’s international trade advisers, the majority of which are for small and medium-sized businesses. In November 2014, UKEF launched its first advertising campaign under the Exporting is GREAT banner, to ensure that every business is aware of the support UKEF offers to exporters.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is using its outbound email service to support Government growth-related campaigns. In recent months, more than 1.7 million emails have been sent in support of specific growth-related initiatives including over 800,000 promoting exporting, Export Week (November) and international trade advisers. These achieved good response rates. Selected tax emails now carry growth-related messaging, as HMRC increasingly uses email as part of a structured, rolling programme of messaging reflecting Government’s key priorities (including the 2020 Export Drive), consistent with its primary purpose of offering additional help and support to taxpayers.

7. Driving positive perceptions of the UK in key international markets

The Government is uniquely placed to promote the UK both as an investment destination and a business trading partner. DCMS is spearheading the GREAT Britain marketing campaign that drives positive perceptions of the UK in key international markets. The GREAT campaign priorities for 2015/16 will underpin the Government’s 2020 Export Drive. The campaign unifies the international growth and promotion efforts of UKTI, FCO, VisitBritain and the British Council to deliver increases in trade, tourism, education and inward investment.

In 2013/14 GREAT supported over 2,400 UK companies in priority markets across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, energy, technology, retail, food & drink and advanced engineering. Overseas activity from GREAT funding is on track to deliver its target of £449 million benefit to the UK economy over the next five years. The UK’s Ambassadors are regularly involved in spearheading GREAT events and campaigns overseas.

8. Providing the right conditions for domestic growth

Industrial Strategy is a long-term, whole-of-Government approach to support economic growth. By working in partnership with key sectors, Government is giving business the confidence to invest and creating more opportunities, delivering more jobs and making the UK more competitive in the global market. Eleven joint Industry/Government sector strategies were published in 2013 and work is now underway to deliver the actions they set out, ensuring that the international agenda is at the heart of each.

BIS’ work with the Industrial Strategy Sector Councils is particularly important. For many of the Councils, exporting is already at the heart of their agenda. BIS is working with them to identify what more they and Government can do to increase exports in their sectors and also working in each sector to ensure we have an accurate assessment of the scale of the export opportunity.

Industrial Strategy also supports the ‘eight great technologies’ where the UK has a competitive advantage. Each of these is an area in which the UK has world-leading research; a range of applications across a spectrum of industries; and has the potential to be at the forefront of commercialisation. The FCO and BIS’ joint Science and Innovation Network (SIN) promotes collaboration and research to attract inward investment.

SIN’s work helps deliver a wide range of international collaboration opportunities for UK organisations. These range from support for university research partnerships to commercial R&D, such as a recent £10 million programme for Innovate UK on affordable healthcare in India, co-funded by host country partners.

BIS sector teams and UKTI are working together to deliver the twin objectives of Industrial Strategy and the 2020 Export Drive, putting the international opportunities at the heart of both. Two further priority areas for action have been identified: enhancing joint working on key sectors at local level between BIS Local, UKTI and local authorities/Local Enterprise Partnerships; and in overseas markets (e.g. Rail in the Middle East and other countries with high speed projects). In December 2014 the Department for Transport delivered a Ministerial visit to the Middle East which directly supported rail trade objectives in that region.

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) Local Growth programme focuses on creating the right conditions for domestic growth, helping companies to grow and ultimately drive exports. The Cities and Local Growth team, alongside BIS and Cabinet Office, is helping to implement Growth Deals across all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England. This includes significant support for infrastructure improvements, skills training and job creation. In addition, they are responsible for City Deals, the Regional Growth Fund and the European Structural & Investment Fund. DCLG is committed to delivering the development of all 24 Enterprise Zones by March 2015 and is liaising closely with BIS and UKTI to promote opportunities for business in a wide range of sectors.

9. Ensuring the UK is a competitive location for investment, with a focus on attracting investors with export potential

The UK remains the nation to beat for Europe-bound investment, and consistently ranks in the top three locations of choice for global investors. UKTI’s activities promote the UK not only as a destination in its own right, but as a springboard from which to export to other key markets.

In the global race, we have to create an open and welcoming economy to attract investment, jobs and growth. Corporation tax will soon be 20 per cent, the lowest in the G7, and the equal lowest of the G20 - along with Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. In addition, it will be as low as 10 per cent for companies that turn innovation into manufacturing. We have cut bureaucracy - with the Red Tape Challenge improving or scrapping more than 3,000 regulations - and made it easier for business to access finance.

The UK is in the top 10 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list. The rate of new business creation was faster last year than in any other year in our history. In fact, we are seeing a revival of manufacturing exports and a growth in small businesses.

We are increasingly targeting those investors and investment opportunities with significant export potential, focusing on the sectors of greatest importance to the UK. This work is delivering tangible benefits. For example, in 2013 Nestlé produced over 1.4 billion capsules of Nescafé Dolce Gusto and exported 92 per cent of them to more than 50 overseas markets. This came two years after Nestlé made an £110 million investment in its Tutbury, Derbyshire facility.

UKTI and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) launched Reshore UK in January 2014. This new service brings Government and industry together to identify opportunities and unifies the range of support available to help small and medium-sized businesses bring work back to the UK, and drive further exports and growth.

Driving investment to support and boost the UK supply chain is another priority for sector specific joint Government and private sector working. For example, the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) was set up in 2013 to attract inward investment into the UK. Eighty per cent of cars manufactured in the UK last year were exported and the AIO helps grow the UK-based supply chain to share in this export success. Automotive Council research finds 80 per cent of all component types required for vehicle assembly could be produced in the UK.

This represents around £3 billion of unfulfilled opportunity – ie, an additional £3 billion of new business for both British suppliers and overseas companies looking to set up manufacturing in the UK. The AIO has had an impressive first year, helping attract £457 million of investment into the UK and securing more than 5,600 jobs in the supply chain.

10. Exploiting unique world events to boost exports

Our Olympic legacy programme helped UK companies secure contracts for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2016 Olympics. We have already delivered £14.2 billion of additional benefit from the London 2012 Games, beating the four year target of £11 billion. This year we have also worked with our partners in the Devolved Administrations to showcase UK defence and security capabilities at September’s NATO summit in Wales; and held a business conference in Glasgow linked to the Commonwealth Games.

Following the successful Shanghai Expo in 2010, and the International Festival of Business in Liverpool in 2014, we are using Milan Expo 2015 to deliver a comprehensive and ambitious business programme.

Twenty million guests from over 70 countries are expected to visit the Expo between May and October 2015. Eight Government Departments, coordinated by UKTI, are involved in making the best of this unique opportunity, for which we have set a target for UK businesses to win £1 billion of export deals. We will highlight innovations and solutions in the agri-tech, creative, food & drink, healthcare, life sciences and technology sectors that address the challenge of the rising global population.

Other major events we are focusing on include the Rugby World Cup 2015, Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Dubai Expo 2020.

11. A consistent whole-of-Government approach

The Prime Minister is leading the 2020 Export Drive from the front. The Chancellor of the Exchequer signalled a clear commitment to this whole-of-Government effort in the 2014 Autumn Statement in which he announced a £20 million package of support for first-time exporters and £25 million for the FCO to deliver a ‘surge for growth’ programme to support prosperity projects and free trade agreements across the world.

UKTI and FCO have developed a shared vision and a new joint planning process for the 2020 Export Drive, working across Government under the leadership of Lord Livingston, Minister for Trade and Investment and Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary.

We are implementing a coherent approach involving all Departments to ensure we are greater than the sum of our parts. Each Department is developing its own export strategy to deliver specific activities - whether through engagement with industry, policy influencing, direct delivery or business – and has assigned a champion to oversee success.

The Chief Executive of UKTI is responsible for the coordination of the 2020 Export Drive across Government and, with the Permanent Secretary of BIS and Permanent Under-Secretary of FCO, is jointly accountable for associated activities.

12. Contact details

For more information, please contact:

UK Trade & Investment

UKTI is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The FCO promotes the United Kingdom’s interests overseas, supporting our citizens and businesses around the globe.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

BIS is the department for economic growth. We invest in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. BIS also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation.

UK Export Finance

UKEF is the UK’s export credit agency. We help UK exporters by providing insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance. In addition, we can make loans to overseas buyers of goods and services from the UK.