Barclays has joined forces with UK Trade & Investment as a lead partner to broaden, deepen and sharpen efforts to help further develop international trade and inward investment for UK businesses.
The two organisations have agreed key priorities and targets across UK trade and investment which they will work together to deliver in seven focus areas.
Development of digital products and capability - through digital transformation of systems, staff training and development of digital products to support businesses exporting.
Increase the number of first time exporters - a pledge to support 15,000 businesses exporting for the first time or those returning to exports by 2020.
Increase exports by medium sized and high growth businesses - through trade missions, export summits and at UKTI Export Week. A UKTI MSB adviser will be available to Barclays clients for support, while Barclays and UKTI also pledge to support high growth businesses by exploring propositions to help their specific trade ambitions.
Winning of overseas high value opportunities and sector development - Barclays and UKTI sector and project finance teams will exchange information and collaboratively support networking between UK Medium Sized Businesses (MSB) and Prime Contractors to aid the formation of UK supply chains for High Value Opportunities overseas, in addition to improvements in the response to HVOs, to increase UK export success.
Increase trade with Africa - identifying opportunities with targeted trade programmes. Barclays has identified a £3.6bn export opportunity for UK businesses by 2020, up from £1.2bn currently for the five African Sleeping Giant countries. Total consumer spending in Sub-Saharan African countries is expected to grow by 4-5% over the next 5-10 years.
Encourage inward investment from priority overseas markets - Raise awareness of UK as an investment destination through Barclays global reach and UKTI networks.
Drive exports through marketing, initiatives & events - UKTI and Barclays will work closely to promote the Exporting is Great campaign.
John Winter, CEO of Barclays corporate banking, said: “Supporting UK enterprise and helping businesses of all sizes to expand and grow is something we are passionate about. We provide expert help to UK businesses in accessing new markets, expanding overseas, and achieving their growth objectives around the globe. Providing our clients with the tools, guidance and finance to encourage and stimulate their exporting ambitions in turn supports the wider UK economy.”
Lord Maude of Horsham, Minister for Trade & Investment, said: “Government and private sector co-operation is at the heart of our approach to increasing UK exports. Working together we can create a more vibrant export support marketplace to help small and medium sized businesses to flourish and grow.”
Dr Catherine Raines, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “I am delighted we will be working together with Barclays, which will lead to 15,000 more companies working abroad in 2020. Pooling our professional advice for companies is a powerful offer and will increase the amount of support for exporters available.”