Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, yesterday announced major steps that will unlock finance for SMEs exporting to emerging markets.
Speaking at the celebration of 100 years of UKEF's backing for international trade, Dr Fox launched the financial support package for small to medium sized business (SMEs).
This is the first time such an extensive financing package has been made available to small businesses exporting to fast-growing emerging markets from the UK.
The package will include:
- The Small Deal Initiative – to back the army of exporters undertaking the smaller contracts that underpin British trade
- Extending financial support to firms in exporters’ supply chains as well as exporters themselves
- The General Export Facility – covers general costs for exporters, rather than just costs related to a specific export deal
The Small Deals Initiative sees UKEF guaranteeing the loans of potential overseas buyers of British goods to make UK bids more competitive.
The General Export Facility also allows UKEF to support exporters’ overall working capital requirements, rather than requiring support to be linked to the needs of a specific export.
Commenting on this, the Secretary of State said:
"Recognising that it takes more than one business to deliver an export contract, UKEF has extended eligibility for its support to companies in exporters’ supply chains.
"Building a truly Global Britain takes real investment. It cannot be done on the cheap.
"If we want to become an exporting superpower, with greater influence, selling more goods and services abroad and encouraging more British investment overseas, then we will have to invest in the capabilities required.
"UKEF’s work would be at the very forefront of this investment strategy."
The IOE&IT's Director General, Lesley Batchelor OBE, also spoke at the UK Trade and Export Finance Forum. Speaking on a panel alongside:
- Louis Taylor, CEO, UK Export Finance
- Ian Tandy, Managing Director, Global Trade & Receivables Finance, HSBC
- Guto Davies, MD, Global ECA & DFI Leader, GE Energy Financial Services
- Dan Munro, Managing Director, PJ Valves
The panel explored the role trade finance has played in the UK's export successes and what more can be done to help UK companies achieve a wider global reach.