By Daniel Hunter

The CBI is urging the Government to develop a coherent industrial strategy to boost exports, particularly in fast-growing emerging markets.

Following official trade figures released on Friday, which showed a small rise in goods exports in September, the UK’s leading business group highlighted the potential for £30 billion worth of export opportunities by 2020. It is urging the Government to play to the UK’s strengths by focusing on ‘champion sectors’.

“Official data has recently shown that more firms are dipping their toes into emerging markets but there is scope to make even bigger inroads," Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said.

“We are not talking about picking winners but tilting the playing field towards sectors where we have a real edge, including the creative industries and automotives.

“It is critical that the Government develops a coherent industrial strategy which could deliver a £30 billion export boost by 2020.”

The CBI is calling for the Government to adopt a joined-up approach to industrial strategy, with sector-specific action plans to maximise growth in key sectors and ensure the UK does not fall behind its international rivals.

Among the potential high-growth sectors that the CBI has identified are:

- Automotive
- Aerospace
- Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals
- Agri-food
- Green technology and services
- Creative industries
- Knowledge-intensive business services.

Earlier this month, the CBI published detailed proposals to boost UK exports in Playing our strongest hand: Maximising the UK’s industrial opportunities.

The report identifies the size of the prize in each sector, along with indicative tailored actions plans.

Commenting on the report, Mike Wright Executive Director of Jaguar Land Rover, said:

"The UK automotive industry is enjoying a resurgence, but we face stiff competition from large car manufacturers around the globe.

“If the UK plays to its strengths, setting the right conditions and developing the right skills for industry, we can thrive long into the future.”

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Shepperton plc, added:

“In film, we are seeing high levels of inward investment productions taking advantage of our skills, talent, technology and infrastructure.

“Pinewood’s involvement in global box office successes like Skyfall and Prometheus showcase those skills and talents to great advantage.”

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