UKTI recently published its new strategy to drive international trade with a number of measures to help businesses get to, and grow in, overseas markets. This new strategy, under the banner ‘Britain Open for Business’, is focused on driving economic growth through trade and investment.
Four approaches are outlined in the strategy
- Targeting services at innovative and high growth SMEs to encourage more companies to export, and help existing exporters reach more high growth and emerging markets.
- Winning high value opportunities in overseas markets for UK businesses of all sizes.
- Delivering high quality inward investment, with a drive to market large British infrastructure and regeneration projects to foreign investors.
- Building strategic relationships at the highest levels with the most significant inward investors, including overseas institutions such as Sovereign Wealth Funds, and with the UK’s top exporters and major overseas buyers.
The white paper includes a number of new schemes to support businesses financially to operate globally, including an Export Enterprise Finance Scheme offering up to £1m export finance to SMEs.
The Exports Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) announced these four new initiatives to support exporters, particularly smaller companies.
- Bond Support Scheme, to help exporters raise tender and contract bonds by sharing risks with banks that issue bonds or counter-indemnities in respect of export contracts.
- Extension of ECGD’s existing short term credit insurance product to cover a broader range of exports.
- An Export Working Capital Scheme, to facilitate exporters’ access to working capital finance for specific export contracts by sharing risks with the banks on loans above £1m.
- A Foreign Exchange Credit Support Scheme to facilitate exporters’ management of their exposure to foreign exchange rate movements, where exporters have taken out another ECGD product, by sharing risks with banks.