A “revamped” UK Board of Trade that will “focus specifically on exports” has been unveiled today (20 September) by the group’s president, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch.
The government states that the refreshed advisory body’s focus will be on helping the UK achieve its target of reaching £1trn in exports by 2030.
The announcement follows the publication last week of a letter by the UK Trade and Business Commission (UKTBC) arguing for the board’s independence. That letter suggested an “upgrade” of the body was “long overdue”.
Not ‘another dry, report-writing board’
New members of the board include notable representatives from the creative industries such as Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.
A number of ‘thought leaders’ have also been selected, including the chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Karen Betts.
Badenoch said of the changes:
“Some are calling for another dry, report-writing board, but this new board will be fixers. As we seize the immense trading opportunities post-Brexit, we need to pull our socks up and be a team of doers. I’m confident the new Board of Trade will fulfil that ambition.”
Pearson CEO Andy Bird was among those appointed to the body and he said he was excited to work on “issues that will support the UK’s economic growth and prosperity”.
Managing director of Dulas, Ruth Chapman, said:
“I am delighted to be joining the newly convened Trade Board as an advisor. As a leader of an SME with extensive experience of exporting products globally, I look forward to bringing my expertise on the challenges and opportunities of international trade, helping the UK to achieve its exporting growth ambitions.”
The IOE&IT view
Director general of the IOE&IT Marco Forgione welcomed the additions, as well as the new export-led focus of the board.
“It’s encouraging to see business luminaries with practical knowledge of exporting and scaling businesses internationally being given a voice to influence international trade.
“Businesses that trade across borders have more potential to grow and to contribute to the UK economy. That’s something that these additions to the board have a track record of achieving and can advise on”.
(Image source: UK Parliament)