The government has today (16 October) announced a new strategy to support the recovery of UK firms impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by increasing their overseas trade.
The new ‘Export Growth Plan’ from the Department for International Trade (DIT) will provide additional financial support and expertise to the country’s potential exporters, including regionally targeted education programmes.
Minister for exports Graham Stuart MP said the funds will help companies to “take advantage” of the opportunities the UK is creating for itself as a newly independent trade nation, having left the EU earlier this year.
The new package of measures – including a £38m Internationalisation Fund for small businesses – has been welcomed by industry leaders.
The Internationalisation Fund will provide £38m over the next four years to support 7600 SMEs across England to internationalise.
The fund will be managed by four regional projects: The Northern Powerhouse Internationalisation Fund, Midlands Internationalisation Fund, South Internationalisation Fund and London Internationalisation Fund.
The package will also provide educational support to firms in the north, midlands and south west through a pilot ‘Export Academy’.
The Academy will enhance the export capabilities of SMEs in the regions and will be supported by a new legion of 64 international trade advisers (ITAs).
Other measures launched include:
- An additional 24 ‘Overseas Champions’ across the world promoting trade and investment
- A further 100 ‘Export Champions’ across different industries in England
Pivotal role to play
Upon the launch of the new plan, exports minister Stuart – who recently called on exporters to “lead the national resurgence” on an IOE&IT webinar – said the plan will help the UK to “build back better”.
"The package will ensure businesses are supported from the start, with more funding, more Trade Advisors and the establishment of the Export Academy,” he said.
IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione described the plan as “a fantastic initiative... showcasing the seriousness the government is attaching to international trade. We look forward to working as a partner with DIT and the new ITAs to grow and professionalise the UK’s international trade community”.