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Government’s Export Strategy to be analysed by International Trade Committee


The Department for International Trade’s Export Strategy is to be reviewed by the International Trade Committee as part of an inquiry into the department’s support for exports.

Chair of the Committee, Angus Brendan MacNeil, said the inquiry will look to review the strategy and ascertain whether or not it offers ‘sufficient levels of support to UK businesses wishing to export’.

A number of questions have been submitted to the DiT, including whether or not the Government is effectively identifying and resolving market access barriers faced by UK exporters and how effective the GREAT campaign has been at promoting UK products and services overseas.

There are also requests for written submissions regarding the DiT’s view on the effectiveness of UK Export Finance to support companies looking to export and also whether the DiT’s export service in its entirety is fit for purpose and sufficiently resourced.

Of the inquiry, Mr MacNeil said that: “Exports are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and in August, the Department published its new export strategy. Regardless of whether the UK has the ability to strike new trade deals around the world after Brexit, promoting and supporting UK exports remains a core task.

“In this inquiry, my Committee will examine whether the plans that have been set out in the Government’s strategy provide for sufficient levels of support to UK businesses wishing to export.

“We will also be looking at the effectiveness of the ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, and whether the Government has set itself realistic targets, especially given the uncertainty around how the economy will fare after Brexit.”

What is the Export Strategy?

The Government’s Export Strategy was launched in August last year and set to lay the ambitious, visions and way forward to further improve the UK’s export prowess around the world.

In the Strategy, it noted that the UK is punching above its’ weight but below potential and the ambition to raise exports as a percentage of GDP from 30% to 35%.

Read more: ‘Brand Britain’ helping boost international trade as 46% UK SMEs say Brexit uncertainly not dampening exporting appetite

On Brexit, the Strategy noted that: “Leaving the European Union means we can pursue an independent trade policy for the first time in four decades, which we will use to maximise our trade opportunities across the world and deliver benefits for business, workers and consumers around the whole of the UK.”

However, the level of Brexit advice in the exporting strategy is also set to be analysed, with one of the quests from the International Trade Committee quizzing whether the strategy is sufficiently tailored to markets with particular potential in the post-Brexit trading environment and if it’s fit and ready to resolve the challenges that exporters will likely face due to the new relationship with the EU.

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