Launched today (Tuesday 21 August), the strategy sets out how the Government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of export opportunities around the world.
“Today’s launch of the export strategy is the next step in our journey towards making the UK a 21st century exporting superpower,” said Fox.
“By utilising the UK’s overseas network, online tools and business mentoring, the export strategy will help UK enterprises achieve the Government’s target of increasing UK exports as a proportion of GDP to 35%. The UK is punching above its weight, but below its potential.”
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) welcomed the publication as an important step in helping businesses to understand and seize the opportunities that exporting provided
Chief executive Ian Wright said: “Food and drink is a UK exports success story, with global sales reaching a record level of £10.6bn for the first half of 2018. Yet the majority of UK food and drink businesses still do not export and, as a country, we export less food and drink than some of our key competitors.
“Proposals to boost food and drink exports form a key part of the Industrial Strategy Sector Deal for food and drink manufacturing which we are currently negotiating with government. We are working closely with DIT, Defra and BEIS on the deal and to promote food and drink exports more generally.”
Wright also continued calls for clarity over the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, the country’s biggest export market, after March next year. He added that any no-deal exit would be a disaster for food and drink exporting opportunities.
New chapter in UK trade
The Institute of Director’s (IoD’s) head of Europe and trade policy Allie Renison said the strategy marked the beginning of a new chapter in UK trade.
“This strategy is a strong first step towards a long-term, practical and targeted approach to boosting UK exports,” she said. “The Government has clearly listened to business representative groups like the IoD in focusing on areas where it can make a difference and not seeking to duplicate the role of the private sector.
“Ultimately, the success of this strategy rests on its implementation in practice. To get the details right, this needs to be a dynamic process where business input continues to shape the Government’s approach.”
The full export strategycan be found here.
Meanwhile, meat, dairy and alcohol helped drive UK food and drink exports to £10.6bn for the first half of the year, with the US, China and Hong Kong the main recipients.