COMMONS

Exports and role of UKTI inquiry launched

29 October 2015

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee launches an inquiry looking at Exports and the role of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

Scope of the inquiry

  1. What policies are required to help meet the Government’s headline targets of £1 trillion exports and 100,000 more companies exporting by 2020?
    In particular, what further support should be provided to help SMEs meet their export potential?
  2. Is UKTI fit for purpose? Are the indicators used to measure its performance the right ones? How could UKTI be better held to account?
  3. What UKTI activities are most effective at increasing exports? What more could it do?
  4. What more can other bodies, such as the banks and UK Export Finance, do to provide financial assistance to companies seeking to export?

How to respond

Written submissions should be sent online via the inquiry webpage. The closing date for submissions is 11 December 2015.

Chair's comments

Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, said:

"The Government has committed itself to a target of a £1 trillion exports by 2020 but few expect this to be achieved. The Secretary of State himself appears to believe the target is pie in the sky and unachievable. Boosting exports is crucial to the future health of the UK economy. The persistent trade deficit is a concerning weakness in our economy. Britain has great businesses which don't currently export. In our inquiry, we want to bring forward recommendations which help Government get the support right for British business and work towards this highly ambitious export target.

The Government’s lack of belief in their own export goal appears to be borne out by the plight of the UKTI—the very body charged with driving efforts to reach the £1trn target—which is facing the prospect of a significantly ‘downgraded’ role. As a Committee, we will want to explore whether UKTI is indeed fit for purpose and whether it is proactive in helping British businesses identify and navigate foreign markets and whether UKTI is making the maximum possible impact in increasing exports."

Further information 

Image: iStockphoto

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