Business leaders to say boosting UK exports will add £500bn a year to UK economy

Mon 7 Feb 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

uk trade

A group of business leaders will claim this week that an export-focused strategy could boost Britain’s economy by almost £500bn a year.

The Global Britain Commission report, due to be published on Wednesday, will call on the country to match the performance of Germany and focus on building exports to emerging markets such as Mexico.

Sir Roger Marsh, the commissioner of the report, told the Daily Mail that the plan is “a restatement of Britain’s prowess when it comes to being a global trading nation”.

Future markets

The Global Britain Commission was launched by former trade minister Liam Fox last October as a one-year project to study what businesses need from the government to boost exports and identify future markets.

Business leaders from companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow, EY, Mace and Forth Ports are involved, reports Business Live.

Germany comparison

The report claims that Britain’s per capita export performance was slightly more than half that of Germany.

Exports of goods and services in the UK in 2020 were around £8,597 per capita compared with £15,645 in Germany.

If Britain could reach the same level as Germany, it would be worth £474bn to the UK economy, creating millions of jobs and increasing wages in export-related jobs by 7%, the report claims.

‘New trading reality’

The Express reports comments from commission chairman Dr Fox saying that a truly global Britain can reap huge economic benefits for everyone in the UK.

“Post-Brexit, there is a new trading reality, and British and global businesses can grasp these new opportunities to the benefit of the economy, business and workers,” he said.

The report will also call for an increase in per capita R&D spending, which also lags economies such as South Korea and the US.

Britain in demand, says AMT

In an interview with The House magazine, international trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that Brexit has given export markets the opportunity to have a closer trading relationship with Britain.

When travelling around the world ahead of the COP26 conference last year, she said she found countries keen to trade with the UK.

“Everywhere we went, they wanted more British, they wanted to be more connected. They were so excited that we were free to be the UK and they wanted to have stronger and close links. Pick any country, big, small, island state,” she said.

US deal

Commenting on the UK’s hopes for further post-Brexit trade deals, Trevelyan said that Britain still wants a deal with the US but would concentrate on “doing all the groundwork first” and that “across the US from businesses, business councils, governors at a state level, [there is] huge engagement”.

On concerns from farmers over the Australian trade deal, Trevelyan said it was a “very robust deal for farms,” with three layers of safeguards.

“No [imported] food is going to be sold in British shops that doesn’t meet our food safety standards. It’s just not. So, no one should be worried about that,” she said.