The government has launched four new trade and investment hubs to support the launch of high-profile export campaigns and to drive trade activity in different parts of the UK.
Announced by the Department for International Trade yesterday (24 March), the hubs will be located in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North-East of England as part of the government’s wider ‘levelling up’ agenda.
Trade Minister, Liz Truss, said: “I’m determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These trade and investment hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery.”
The launch of the trade hubs marks the start of a major export drive which will see DIT focussed on promoting British exports, the BBC reports
The plans haven’t been universally applauded, however, with some industry experts telling Loadstar that while the intention is correct, the thinking is “muddled”.
Justin Urquhart-Stewart, the co-founder of the investment platform Regionally, said the hubs were not necessarily located in the right places.
He added: “The trick they’re missing is the concept is right, but actually what you need is to create the businesses, encourage exports and then provide the export advice.”
Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters, has claimed that the devolved administration received “no advance notice” about the new hub in Cardiff.
He tweeted: “The tanks are rolling up on our lawns. No advance notice of this. And UK Government are recruiting 12 senior civil service roles in Cardiff to deliver Shared Prosperity Fund and ‘Levelling up’ agenda, bypassing Welsh Government”.