Make UK tells Government it’s time to get organised for export drive
6 Oct 2020
British business needs a national advice platform and database to achieve the Government’s target for exports to account for more than a third of national GDP, says Make UK.
The manufacturers’ association, which has 5,000 industry members and represents the needs of an estimated 20,000 firms, says Whitehall’s current help for firms is too complex and untargeted.
CEO Stephen Phipson is leading the call for the Department for International Trade to develop a network of local advisers in new markets, a database of overseas companies in taregt nations, a single export guidance website and financial help to allow applicants to improve their capabilities.
“British manufacturers have always exported their high quality goods around the world and the new trade deals which are currently being negotiated should open up a myriad of opportunities,” he explained.
“Making sure smaller businesses, which are often the most innovative, are able to take advantage of these new opportunities will be vital if we are to fully maximise the potential trade benefits. This means bespoke support which is simple to understand and easy to obtain, helping them to access true experts on the ground with the right local knowledge.”
He was speaking as the organisation unveiled its International Trade Report 2020 research which pointed out that almost all (97%) of current UK exporters deal directly with the European Union, so would need to develop new markets in the wake of British withdrawal from the union.
“While manufacturing currently contributes 53% of UK exports, the uncertainty over future trading arrangements with the EU makes taking advantage of new export opportunities more important than ever,” said Phipson.
Nationally the manufacturing sector accounts for an estimated total of 2.7 million jobs and would be intrinsic to the growth Government wants to achieve, Make UK has indicated.
It said there was an opportunity for Government to simplify and increase awareness of the export services on offer, beginning with the creation of a database of overseas companies in each country as a basis for effective market research.