By Max Clarke

A new, cross-government policy to boost UK overseas trade has been launched by the UK’s trade body, UKTI (UK Trade & Investment)

"We're rightly proud of British firms and making sure they can increase their exports to a worldwide audience is vital if we are to rebuild our economy,” said Business Secretary, Vince Cable. “We also know the UK already has a great reputation as a place to do business and we want to do all we can to make sure foreign investors come here.”

The strategy will see UKTI adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to deliver growth. As part of this UKTI will actively seek out overseas investors, help UK companies expand into overseas markets and work more closely with key British companies.

The UKTI Strategy signals how the Department intends to become more entrepreneurial in focus by:
• Bringing more private sector expertise into its relationship with exporters and inward investors
• Developing new partnerships with key businesses which support SMEs, and using their networks to raise awareness of the benefits of exporting.
• Creating a new online self-help community for UK SME exporters, so that they can support each other and share experience as they seek to internationalise their businesses. This new development will also provide a continuous feedback loop so that customers can tell us what they think of UKTI.
• Establishing a new Strategy Task Force, with members drawn from the most innovative UK-based companies, to inform the future direction of both UKTI and ECGD,
These actions will help to develop new ways of relating to businesses, with a renewed focus on partnerships with the private sector to boost productivity and improve performance.

David Frost, Director General of leading business organisation, the British Chambers of Commerce supported the move, saying:

“Britain’s recovery and long-term economic prosperity depend on improving our international trading position, and so we welcome these measures to put trade, investment and growth at the heart of UK foreign policy. Alongside attracting inward investment, UK companies, particularly small and medium-sized firms, must be encouraged to sell more goods and services overseas. The focus on trade promotion for SMEs will be crucial in to connecting smaller businesses with opportunities in the global marketplace.”