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UK Expands Export Finance in West Africa

UK Expands Export Finance appetite in West Africa as first rep in Africa takes up office in Ghana.

Ghana becomes the first West African country to have a representative of the world’s oldest export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF) stationed in-country.

Steve Gray, who will be taking up office at the British High Commission in Accra as the UKEF Country Manager, will work closely with the Department for International Trade team to strengthen trading relations between Ghana and the United Kingdom reaffirming the UK Government’s ambitions for more trade with the Ghanaian market.

Through its local presence in Accra, UKEF is strategically positioned to provide competitive and innovative finance to Ghanaian and West African companies looking to do business with the UK. Further evidence that the British government is committed to growing its trade relationship with its African partners, this appointment follows the recent announcement that the UK government is increasing the export finance cover available to the Ghanaian market from £125million to £500million, as well as the decision by the export credit agency to provide loan guarantees in the local currency of Cedi – allowing for the flexibility to “buy British and pay local” and going beyond other countries’ credit agencies’ offerings.

Steve Gray worked in Ghana with a UK construction company from 1996-98, returning in 2011 to spearhead the development of a major private sector-led infrastructure project. He has a wealth of experience and a very extensive record working within the wider African market, in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania.

Source: gov.uk – 28th May. For full article please click HERE

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International Trade Secretary travels to Gulf promoting investment and British businesses

Dr Liam Fox will visited Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates  to promote more than 68 UK projects worth £30 billion to investors.

Liam Fox MP Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade

Gulf countries are strong investors in the UK and this visit will focus on driving further investment and opening up new opportunities for British businesses in the 2 countries. Investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into the UK was worth £4.3 billion in 2016.

During the 3 day visit, Dr Fox will also meet government and industry representatives from Bahrain and the UAE, championing the UK’s strong business proposition and its free trading values.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

I recently launched a bold and ambitious investment programme, building on the UK’s position as the leading destination for foreign investment in Europe and investors from Bahrain and United Arab Emirates will have a great deal to offer.

There is a clear appetite for British goods and services all around the world, and as an international economic department we are encouraging UK businesses to grow by taking advantage of the global opportunities available as we leave the EU.

From investment projects to export opportunities, million-pound infrastructure deals to evening internet entrepreneurs, the UK is in a great position to trade with the world, creating jobs and prosperity.

Trade in goods and services between the UK and UAE is worth £14.6 billion and is the UK’s fourth largest export market outside of Europe, whilst Bahrain is a country of huge potential with trade already accounting for more than £740 million.

The visit is a clear demonstration of the importance of the UK’s economic relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, following the creation of the UK-GCC trade and investment group, aiming to boost British trade in the region.

Driving exports to the Middle East, the Department for International Trade has supported a Dudley furnace manufacturer to secure a £25 million order from Bahrain, helping the firm grow its workforce in the UK. Already exporting to more than 50 countries globally, Mechatherm International has built a customer base of blue chip companies, specialising in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of bespoke furnaces used to make aluminium.

Mechatherm’s ongoing success overseas is being celebrated by the DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. The campaign showcases 30+ businesses – from a range of sectors and regions – to inspire and support companies up and down the country to export.

Dr Fox MP also announced that the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), will provide £100 million of financing for the construction of the Dubai World Trade Centre by construction company ASGC UK. Phase 4 of the project will see the construction of a hotel and will generate significant business for UK suppliers. This builds on UKEF’s support for the earlier phases of the project.

UKEF is also supporting UK businesses to win export contracts in Bahrain by lending or guaranteeing loans in Bahraini Dinar, offering buyers of UK goods the ability to ‘Buy British, pay local’.

Source: gov.uk- published 26 May 2018. For full article please click HERE

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City chief appointed to lead UK export drive

Department for International Trade (DIT) appoints John Mahon, former Head of Barclays Corporate Bank, as the UK’s new Director General for Exports.

  • John Mahon joins Dr Liam Fox’s department to work closely with business, putting exports at the heart of UK growth
  • This is the latest in a series of senior appointments as DIT ramps up preparations for post-Brexit trade. Five new HM Trade Commissioners started their roles last week.

 Following a highly competitive recruitment process, the Department for International Trade (DIT) appointed John Mahon as the UK’s first Director General for Exports. Reporting to the Permanent Secretary, John will lead the implementation of the government’s emerging Export Strategy as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

A former Head of Barclays Corporate Bank, John brings a strong track record to DIT and is being hailed across Whitehall as a key hire. His appointment is the latest step in a major capability-building programme underway at DIT, across exports and investment promotion and the trade policy and negotiation businesses.

The new Director General for Exports is at the heart of the government’s post-Brexit trading plan, and is tasked with ensuring that new and existing exporters can access the right financial, practical and promotional support to sell overseas.

Welcoming John to DIT, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

I am delighted to welcome John as our first Director General for Exports. With the IMF predicting that 90% of global growth will come from outside the EU, his role will be key to helping UK businesses unlock opportunities around the world.

John’s banking expertise will help us build the world’s best international economic department as we develop our own independent trade policy for the first time in more than 40 years – making the UK a global trading nation once again.

Minister of State for Export and Trade Promotion Baroness Rona Fairhead added:

We will soon be launching an Export Strategy to respond to the clear and growing demand from all over the world for UK goods and services. Our aim is to help UK companies of all sizes to grow by enhancing the support we offer and connecting them ever-more effectively to market opportunities. John will play a crucial role in making this happen.

John will play a vital role in DIT, reporting to Permanent Secretary Antonia Romeo, the department’s lead official, who commented:

I am very pleased to welcome John to my top team. His appointment shows that DIT is attracting the highest-calibre talent from across the public and private sectors to work on our crucial agenda. Leading our work to boost exports up and down the country, he will play a critical role in putting trade at the heart of UK growth.

Speaking about his new role, John Mahon said:

I am excited to join the Department for International Trade at such a crucial time where it will be my task to help companies everywhere to take advantage of the international demand for British goods and services. Through the government’s emerging Export Strategy, we will help businesses generate growth, prosperity and jobs in every corner of the UK.”

Source: www.gov.uk, 12th April 2018

Picture: Left to Right: Dr. Liam Fox, John Mahon, Baroness Rona Fairhead

 

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US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group – statement

 

The United States and the United Kingdom held the third meeting of the US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group on 21 to 22 March, and the inaugural meeting of the new US-UK Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue on 20 March.

The working group, established in July 2017, works to deepen current trade and investment ties between the two nations and is laying the groundwork for a potential future free trade agreement once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

The delegations were led by officials from the UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and included representatives from a wide range of US and UK government departments. The working group discussions covered a range of topics, including:

  • industrial and agricultural goods
  • services
  • investment
  • intellectual property rights and enforcement
  • regulatory issues related to trade
  • small and medium-sized enterprises

The inaugural meeting of the SME Dialogue brought together more than 100 US and UK SMEs with government officials from both countries to:

  • discuss ways to deepen trade and investment and enhance SME cooperation
  • identify resources currently available from both governments to assist SMEs
  • hear from  SMEs on their specific challenges and opportunities when trading bilaterally

At the dialogue, the US and UK governments jointly released the guide Doing business in the US and UK: resources for small business as a key tool for SMEs seeking to benefit from US-UK trade.

Building on these positive outcomes from the first US-UK  SME Dialogue, both governments met the following day as part of the US-UK Trade and Investment Working Group to further discuss opportunities to work together. During these meetings:

  • the United States extended an invitation to the UK government to join the 10th Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in California, to exchange best practices on innovative approaches to economic development
  • the United States and UK agreed to explore trade promotion and trade show collaboration, notably between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the UK Department for International Trade
  • it was agreed that the 2nd US-UK  SME Dialogue will be hosted in the United Kingdom.

As discussed in the March 15th Joint Statement of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Foxthe ongoing SME Dialogue was one of several tangible outcomes of the Working Group.

UK government officials also raised the United States’ imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Source of Article

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US Delegation visits Sheffield City Region

 

A high-level delegation from the US Congress has visited the Sheffield City Region (SCR) to learn about its growing reputation in advanced manufacturing.

Ron Kind, US Representative for Wisconsin’s third congressional district, is an expert on small businesses, while Derek Kilmer, who represents Washington’s sixth congressional district, has worked in economic development for over a decade. Both were keen to see the work of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The US is an important export market for the City Region, with the most recent figures showing that in 2015 the region exported manufactured goods worth £450mto the US.

The country has also has been the largest investor in the SCR between 2006-16, accounting for about 25 per cent of the investment coming into the region.

US investment includes Amazon’s third fulfilment centre in Doncaster; the expansion at Premdor UK Holdings factory in Barnsley by Masonite International; Euramax International’s expansion at its Barnsley site; and increased steel wire production at the Leggett and Platt plant in Grimethorpe.

Representative Kilmer said: “When I’m back home I say often that the role of government is to create more opportunities for more people in more places. It is clear that’s what’s happening in Sheffield City Region. I’ve learned a lot on my visit, and I hope that it leads to even stronger partnerships which create great jobs here and back home.”

The congressmen were accompanied by Kilmer’s chief of staff and Kind’s legislative director. Also on the visit, arranged by the Department for International Trade, were Grant Kerr, senior congressional advisor at the British Embassy in Washington, and Meghan Ormerod, the senior trade policy advisor at the embassy.

The visit was accompanied by Mark Robson, DIT regional director Yorkshire; Cllr Denise Lelliott, cabinet member and Paul Woodcock, assistant director for planning, regeneration and transport for Rotherham Council; and David Campbell-Molloy, senior programme manager, and Tony Corby, senior business development manager, both from Sheffield City Region.

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US Delegation visits Sheffield City Region

A high-level delegation from the US Congress has visited the Sheffield City Region (SCR) to learn about its growing reputation in advanced manufacturing.

Ron Kind, US Representative for Wisconsin’s third congressional district, is an expert on small businesses, while Derek Kilmer, who represents Washington’s sixth congressional district, has worked in economic development for over a decade. Both were keen to see the work of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The US is an important export market for the City Region, with the most recent figures showing that in 2015 the region exported manufactured goods worth £450mto the US.

The country has also has been the largest investor in the SCR between 2006-16, accounting for about 25 per cent of the investment coming into the region.

US investment includes Amazon’s third fulfilment centre in Doncaster; the expansion at Premdor UK Holdings factory in Barnsley by Masonite International; Euramax International’s expansion at its Barnsley site; and increased steel wire production at the Leggett and Platt plant in Grimethorpe.

Representative Kilmer said: “When I’m back home I say often that the role of government is to create more opportunities for more people in more places. It is clear that’s what’s happening in Sheffield City Region. I’ve learned a lot on my visit, and I hope that it leads to even stronger partnerships which create great jobs here and back home.”

The congressmen were accompanied by Kilmer’s chief of staff and Kind’s legislative director. Also on the visit, arranged by the Department for International Trade, were Grant Kerr, senior congressional advisor at the British Embassy in Washington, and Meghan Ormerod, the senior trade policy advisor at the embassy.

The visit was accompanied by Mark Robson, DIT regional director Yorkshire; Cllr Denise Lelliott, cabinet member and Paul Woodcock, assistant director for planning, regeneration and transport for Rotherham Council; and David Campbell-Molloy, senior programme manager, and Tony Corby, senior business development manager, both from Sheffield City Region.

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 26 February 2018

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Exporting for Growth Breakfast Event: Sheffield, 14 March

by Department for International Trade – Yorkshire and the Humber

Whether you’re new to exporting or looking to grow your international trade, find out how the Exporting for Growth programme* could benefit your business – all before you head to the office!

Join DIT at the Exporting for Growth Breakfast Event in Sheffield. This informal breakfast gathering is your opportunity to explore this match-funded grant of up to £5,000 which can be used to boost your business’ international success.

The programme’s Project Manager, Ingunn Vallumroed, will talk you through the application process and how it can be used, with insight from our real-life case study. There will also be DIT International Trade Advisers available to guide you on next steps.

There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout the networking breakfast, with ITA one-to-ones available to book on the day.

The demand is out there, you should be too!

Please note: 50% discount is available for parking at Q-Park on Rockingham Street. Collect your voucher from the Circle reception and insert into the machine prior to ticket on departure.

Eligibility for funding:
– The company must be located in the Sheffield LEP region.
– Be a small or medium sized enterprise with up to 250 employees.
– No more than 25% of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not an SME.
– Annual turnover does not exceed €50 million or annual balance sheet does not exceed €43 million
– Must create at least one full time job.

To register please click HERE

*Enterprise Growth Solutions, in partnership with DIT is delivering the contract for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which provides £6.7 million of funding for first time, but also experienced exporters as part of the Exporting for Growth programme. 

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Eurostat: Industrial producer prices up by 0.2% in euro area

December 2017 compared with November 2017
Industrial producer prices up by 0.2% in euro area
Up by 0.1% in EU28

In December 2017, compared with November 2017, industrial producer prices rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.1% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In November 2017, prices increased by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.7% in the EU28.

In December 2017, compared with December 2016, industrial producer prices rose by 2.2% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU28.

The average industrial producer prices for the year 2017, compared with 2016, increased by 3.1% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU28.

In the EU28, the 0.1% increase is due to rises of 0.2% for both intermediate goods and durable consumer goods and of 0.1% in the energy sector, while prices remained stable for both capital goods and non-durable consumer goods. Prices in total industry excluding energy also rose by 0.1%.

The highest increases in industrial producer prices were observed in Sweden (+1.2%), Ireland (+0.7%), Slovakia (+0.6%) and Finland (+0.5%), and the largest decreases in Denmark (-1.0%), Lithuania (-0.6%), as well as Estonia and Romania (both -0.3%).

Annual comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

The 2.2% increase in industrial producer prices in total industry in the euro area in December 2017, compared with  December 2016, is due to rises of 3.0% for intermediate goods, of 2.9% in the energy sector, of 1.5% for non durable consumer goods, of 1.0% for capital goods and of 0.7% for durable consumer goods. Prices in total industry excluding energy rose by 1.9%.

In the EU28, the 2.4% price increase is due to rises of 3.2% in the energy sector, of 3.1% for intermediate goods, of 1.8% for non-durable consumer goods, of 1.1% for durable consumer goods and of 0.9% for capital goods. Prices in total industry excluding energy rose by 2.1%.

Industrial producer prices rose in all Member States. The largest increases were recorded in Belgium (+5.3%), Bulgaria (+5.1%), the United Kingdom (+4.2%), Lithuania (+3.8%) and Ireland (+3.6%).

For full statics, tables and breakdown of category please click HERE

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International Trade Secretary appoints new ‘HM Trade Commissioner’ for China

 

Dr Liam Fox announces Richard Burn as the new HM Trade Commissioner for China during a trade visit to the country.

Picture of Richard Burn

  • Richard Burn named as HM Trade Commissioner for China
  • Dr Fox leads delegation of more than 50 British businesses
  • Prime Minister announces £9 billion of new trade

Richard Burn is the first of 9 HMTCs to represent and promote the UK in important markets across the world.

The announcement comes during a UK trade visit to China led by the Prime Minister in which she announced around £9 billion of new deals for British companies.

Trade between the 2 countries is at record levels, worth over £59 billion annually, with British exports to China growing by more than 60% since 2010. The UK is already one of the largest European recipients of Chinese foreign direct investment.

Leading a delegation of more than 50 businesses to China, Dr Fox announced the first HMTC to head the global operations of the Department for International Trade (DIT) in China.

Each of the HMTCs will lead on export promotion, inward and outward investment, and trade policy overseas on behalf of the UK government. Their work will include developing and delivering a regional trade plan setting out DIT’s priorities in important global markets.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

DIT was established to deliver a new approach to trade and investment promotion and this requires a new, senior, commercial team to lead our trade work overseas.

As an international economic department, we’ve moved quickly to appoint the first of these important roles. With his existing wealth of trade and investment experience, Richard will provide intelligence on the ground, deciding what tailored action is required in China, and playing a vital role in our future global trading relationships.

DIT Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Richard to this important new role in DIT, and look forward to working with him to maximise British trade with the Chinese market.

Establishing a network of HMTCs across the world is an important step in building the capability of the Department. HMTCs will be experts in their regions, providing a clear vision and direction to the department’s global operations.

HM Trade Commissioner for China, Richard Burn, said:

China presents unrivalled opportunities for British companies. My role as HM Trade Commissioner for China will be to build on the strong links already in place, as we intensify the ‘golden era’ of UK-China trade. My top priority will be to achieve better market access for sectors in which the UK excels.

Since the start of the visit on Wednesday, Dr Fox has witnessed the signing of a number of commercial deals and also addressed business leaders at a Digital China event promoting future collaboration opportunities between healthcare and big data providers.

Dr Fox also attended a Britain is GREAT reception, showcasing the UK’s creative, consumer, tourism and hospitality sectors.

The visit culminated in today’s China-UK Business Forum, bringing together hundreds of British and Chinese business leaders, including Ali Baba CEO Jack Ma.

Background

About Richard Burn

Richard Burn is currently DIT Director General in China.

Richard has extensive business experience in China, including with Diageo, APCO and Batey-Burn, a market access and investment consultancy he co-founded and ran from 1989 to 1999. Richard has worked closely with government in China and the UK, including as former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath’s Private Secretary.

About HMTCs

All of the new HMTCs will cooperate closely with HM Ambassadors and High Commissioners, the wider diplomatic network, and other HM Government colleagues based in countries in their region, in a joined-up and co-ordinated government effort overseas to promote UK trade and prosperity.

Two of the roles will also have Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Consul-General responsibilities in the cities where they are based.

In total, there will be 9 geographical areas that the HM Trade Commissioners will cover:

  • Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • China
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • South Asia

Further HMTCs will be appointed shortly.

Soure: Gov.uk

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Eurostat: Volume of retail trade down by 1.1% in euro area

 

December 2017 compared with November 2017
Volume of retail trade down by 1.1% in euro area
Down by 1.0% in EU28

In December 2017 compared with November 2017, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 1.1% in the euro area (EA19) and by 1.0% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

In November, the retail trade volume rose by 2.0% in the euro area and by 2.1% in the EU28.

In December 2017 compared with December 2016, the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 1.9% in the euro area and by 2.4% in the EU28.

The average retail trade for the year 2017, compared with 2016, rose by 2.6% in both the euro area and EU28.

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State
The 1.1% decrease in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in December 2017, compared with November 2017, is due to falls of 1.5% for automotive fuel, of 1.2% for non-food products and of 0.7% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”.

In the EU28, the 1.0% decrease in the volume of retail trade is due to falls of 1.1% for non-food products and of 0.7% for both “Food, drinks and tobacco” and automotive fuel.

Among Member States for which data are available, the largest decreases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Luxembourg (-6.2%), Ireland (-2.7%) and Slovenia (-2.3%), while the highest increases were observed in Malta (+3.1%), Estonia (+1.8%) and Romania (+1.3%).

Annual comparison by retail sector and by Member State
The 1.9% increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in December 2017, compared with December  2016, is due to rises of 2.7% for non-food products and of 1.3% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while automotive fuel fell by 0.8%. In the EU28, the 2.4% increase in retail trade volume is due to rises of 3.7% for non-food products, of 1.2% for “Food, drinks and tobacco” and of 0.4% for automotive fuel.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Malta (+12.4%), Romania (+10.1%) and Poland (+9.2%), while decreases were observed in Luxembourg (-20.7%) and Belgium (-2.5%).

Source:  For full statistics, chart and breakdown by sector visit Eurostat HERE

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