Record exports support Global Britain drive

New export figures reveal the growing demand for our food and drink.

Global sales of the UK’s food and drink have hit the £20 billion mark for the first time, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom will announce today.

New figures reveal exports grew by nearly 10 per cent in 2016, with food and drink sales to the USA – one of Britain’s biggest markets – up 12 per cent. China is quickly becoming one of our fastest growing markets, with the export value of pork skyrocketing to £43 million, an increase of over 70 per cent.

Alongside these global heavy-hitters, newer markets also saw record growth last year – exports to Malaysia grew by a whopping 143 per cent, while India emerged as one of our priority markets thanks to growing demand for Scotch whisky.

The figures reveal exports show no sign of slowing following the decision to leave the EU, and come as the Environment Secretary vows to ramp up the focus on international trade.

With only one in five food producers currently exporting, a dedicated Government team has turned its attention to ensuring UK companies have the skills, knowledge and confidence to tap into new international markets and take advantage of the global demand for British food and drink.

Speaking ahead of the NFU Conference today, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

It’s great to see the global appetite for British food and drink continues to grow – thanks to our well-established reputation for taste, quality and high animal health and welfare standards.

As we prepare to leave the EU, there has never been a better time to become more outward looking – developing new trading relationships and establishing our place as a truly Global Britain.

But the food and drink industry cannot do this alone – we need to give them the skills, knowledge and contacts to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

I want to see more companies taking advantage of these opportunities, which is why we’re expanding our team of trade experts to support UK businesses, encouraging them to take the leap and share their quality produce with the world.

As well as opening up new markets around the globe, the Government will continue its focus on taking advantage of European markets – with exports of salmon to France growing by 31 per cent and all food and drink exports to Germany up by 12 per cent.

France and Germany are among the priority markets identified in the UK International Action Plan for Food and Drink launched last October.

Through this plan, the Government is focusing on forging stronger links with key markets including USA and Canada, China and India to generate an extra £2.9 billion in exports over the next five years.

Food and Drink Federation Director General Ian Wright CBE said:

Exports of food and drink reached record levels last year and we’re committed to building on this success going forward.

We’ll continue to work closely with Government to help existing and new food and drink exporters take advantage of the growing international demand for our produce.

Ministers are also continuing to fly the flag for British food abroad – the Environment Secretary visited China in November last year, while Food Minister George Eustice will be visiting the UAE and Kuwait next week to support nearly 100 UK firms exhibiting at Gulfood and agree market access for lamb.

Through the Government’s Food is GREAT campaign Defra will continue its work to drive exports and increase global demand for the UK’s top quality food and drink.

Source:, 21st February 2017

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UK Parliament: Support for exports and investment inquiry


We are very pleased to see this and hope as many companies as possible will contribute to the inquiry. We reported on the outcome and findings of the UKTI effictiveness previously which did not make good reading. To remind you of the outcome see our article What’s Hot and What’s Not 

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee is holding an inquiry into support for exports and investment, following on from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s 2016 inquiry into Exports and the role of UKTI.

Terms of reference

Interested organisations or individuals are invited to submit written evidence to the Committee.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following:

  • What progress have International Trade and Investment (ITI, formerly UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) made on their performance since the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee finished work on its inquiry in 2016?
  • How has the absorption of UKTI into the new Department for International Trade affected its performance?
  • Are the Department for International Trade’s export and investment services fit for purpose and sufficiently resourced?
  • In the light of the Secretary of State’s admission that £1 trillion export target will not be met, are the Department’s export and investment targets transparent, appropriate and achievable? How should the performance of ITI and UKEF be measures?
  • What standard of advice do ITI and its International Trade Advisers provide?
  • What standard of support does UK Export Finance provide to companies seeking to export?

Terms of reference: Support for exports and investment Send a written submission. Deadline: 8th March 

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East Midlands Chamber: Dangerous Goods By Air – 3 Day Course

Course dates: 24-26 April
Location: Chesterfield
Member Price: £450.00 + VAT
Non Member Price: £575.00 + VAT

International law requires that all staff involved in the shipping, packing, documentation, handling, or carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air must complete a comprehensive training course approved by the appropriate national competent authority. In the United Kingdom this is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Air Navigation Order (Dangerous Goods Regulations).

Delegates passing the UK Civil Aviation Authority exam, are issued with a Certificate endorsed with a CAA allocated serial number.

For more information, please click here.

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Launch of New European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Exporting for Growth Fund and Trade Development Support

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural and Investment Funds programme (ESIF) provides funding to support economic growth in England. The programme focuses on strengthening the region’s businesses and increasing employment. Companies can access matched financial support to develop exports and generate job creation.

The Department for International Trade Yorkshire and the Humber will deliver a programme of £6.7m of ERDF funding for the Enterprise for Growth programme. The programme will deliver support to both first time exporters and those already exporting, across Leeds and Sheffield City Regions and Humber LEPs, to allow businesses to grow their success within international markets. Any company looking for funding must be working with the Department for International Trade and support must fit within a company’s overall export strategy.

To find out more please contact DIT

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Northern Powerhouse Export Taster Visits


With a GDP of almost £350bn, the economy of the Northern Powerhouse is equivalent to being the 21st largest in the world.

Spanning the north of England and including the cities of Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield, the Northern Powerhouse is united in delivering a wealth of world-class expertise and business talent.

Businesses based here export £60bn of goods annually to every corner of the globe, yet there remains massive potential for future international growth.

It was the birthplace of the industrial revolution – the Northern Powerhouse laid the foundations for the world we know today – and the Department for International Trade is providing the expert support businesses need to tap into a world of opportunities to once again fulfil their global potential.

The abundance of expertise across the Northern Powerhouse is in high demand around the world and, by working together, we can transform the local economy and create a more prosperous future.

DIT is delivering a series of international Trade Missions, Export Taster Visits and dedicated Trade Adviser support to help Northern Powerhouse companies maximise their export potential.

To find out more about  Trade Missions, please click here

For businesses which are new to export we have developed a series of Export Taster Visits. The visits are great for businesses wanting to explore overseas markets without having to use lots of their resources for an international exhibition. Businesses will be able to network with international professionals and receive assistance from an International Trade Adviser before, throughout and after the visit. The visits are subsidised, however there will be a booking fee depending on the destination.

Click here to find out more about the visits and to register your interest.

Follow activities on Twitter:

DIT Yorkshire: @tradegovuk_YH
DIT North West: @tradegovuk_NW
DIT North East: @tradegovuk_NE

Source: DIT, Northern Powerhouse

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International Trade Secretary – 2017 must be ‘Year of Exporting’

The government is urging businesses to make 2017 the year of exporting as it encourages them to seek new markets and seize the demand for British goods and services.

Exports contribute over £511 billion to the UK’s GDP and with a renewed focus on international trade the government has identified opportunities in over 20 sectors spanning over 50 countries for UK businesses to look at supplying into.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is now developing almost 200 high value exporting campaigns to target these markets and sectors and help companies make their mark abroad.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:

With a new year comes new opportunities and I want to encourage businesses big and small, up and down the country, to take advantage of them. From technology in India to aerospace in the USA there’s no shortage of demand and UK businesses have the knowledge, skills and expertise to truly add value and make the UK a partner of choice.

We are world-leaders in many sectors such as financial services and technology. My department has already identified more than 50 countries that could benefit from British expertise and we are continuing work on exploring more export opportunities with other nations. We have a real opportunity to build on this country’s wide range of successful exports, reach out to new markets and help more businesses achieve their exporting potential.

DIT is doing all it can to help companies achieve success through actively making representations to overseas buyers and governments, organising key meetings and missions, showcasing UK products to overseas buyers and providing direct financial support through UK Export Finance.

As well as this, the department continues to work closely with its network of 44 Business Ambassadors and 20 Trade Envoys to regularly identify prospective markets, promote the strengths of the UK and ultimately secure more business for the UK.

Specific examples of projects include:

  • a £0.5 million deal to export Air Traffic Control software to Latin America
  • a £100 million deal to export solar farm technology to Africa
  • a £ multi-million negotiation to export more whisky overseas
  • a £5 million deal to export a television programme to the United States
  • a £50 million deal to build an amusement park in China

More broadly, potential business opportunities identified by the department include:

  • renewable energy projects in Kenya;
  • advanced manufacturing in Brazil;
  • infrastructure projects, for example airports and railways in Hong Kong and mainland China;
  • construction in the Philippines
  • financial services to the likes of Australia or Brazil;
  • technology to India, Japan or Mexico;
  • healthcare to China and the Gulf

Focusing its activity where it can add real value and where businesses will see a strong return on investment, DIT’s work sits alongside its efforts to increase the number of companies exporting and follows on from the launch of a new digital hub – – in November 2016.

The government’s new online exporting hub has over a thousand live opportunities available right now for UK companies looking to export.

Source:, 9 January 2017

Notes to Editors

  1. due to commercial sensitivities, it is not possible to provide a full list of all campaigns
  2. the Department for International Trade has identified opportunities in over 50 markets which include:
    • Africa; Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Chile; China; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; the Gulf; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Lithuania; Malaysia; Mexico; Mongolia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Oman; Philippines; Poland; Qatar; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; USA; Ukraine
  3. these opportunities span a wide range of sectors where the government believes it can add value and where businesses will see a strong return on investment. These are:
    • advanced manufacturing; aerospace; automotive; bio-economy; consumer goods and retail; creative industries; defence and security; education; energy; financial services; food and drink; healthcare; infrastructure; life sciences; oil and gas; nuclear; professional services; sports economy; technology
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EU Statistics in Focus: Volume of retail trade down by 0.4% in euro area

November 2016 compared with October 2016 Volume of retail trade down by 0.4% in euro area Down by 0.1% in EU28

In November 2016 compared with October 2016, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell by 0.4% 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 October the retail trade volume increased by 1.4% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28. In November 2016 compared with November 2015 the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 2.3% in the euro area and by 3.4% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by retail sector and by Member State

The 0.4% decrease in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in November 2016, compared with October 2016, is due to falls of 0.9% for non-food products and of 0.4% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while automotive fuel rose by 1.0%.

In the EU28, the 0.1% decrease in the volume of retail trade is due to falls of 0.3% for both non-food products and “Food, drinks and tobacco”, while automotive fuel rose by 0.5%.

Germany (-1.8%)
Austria -1.3%
Portugal  -1.3%
Denmark (-0.3%),

Luxembourg +6.2%
Estonia +1.7%
Romania +1.4%
Slovenia +1.4%
Slovakia +1.4%

 Annual comparison by retail sector and by Member State

The 2.3% increase in the volume of retail trade in the euro area in November 2016, compared with November 2015, is due to rises of 2.9% for non-food products, of 1.9% for automotive fuel and of 1.8% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”.

In the EU28, the 3.4% increase in retail trade volume is due to rises of 4.7% for non-food products, of 2.3% for automotive fuel and of 2.1% for “Food, drinks and tobacco”.

Belgium -0.2%

Luxembourg +12.4%
Slovenia +11.3
Romania +9.5%

Source: EU Stats in Focus, 6 January 2017

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The World Bank: Year in Review: 2016 in 12 Charts (and a video)

Between the social, political, and economic upheavals affecting our lives, and the violence and forced displacement making headlines, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about 2016. A look at the data reveals some of the challenges we face but also the progress we’ve made toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future.

Visualised in 12 charts that help tell the stories of the year.

1. The number of refugees in the world increased.
2. The global climate change agreement entered into force.
3. Global trade weakened
4. More people had access to mobile phones than to electricity or clean water.
5.  A third of all people were under the age of 20.
6. 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 10 years.
7. 1 in 3 people did not have access to a toilet.
8. Most of the world’s extreme poor lived in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
9. By 2030, two thirds of the world will live in cities.
10: A record number of economies carried out business reforms.
11. Tobacco smoking has increased in over 20 countries.
12. The world’s poorest countries got a record level of support.

View Charts and Additional Text: The World Bank, 22 December 2016

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Risks and Returns: Managing Financial Trade-Offs for Inclusive Growth in Europe and Central Asia

Worldbank Report “Risks and Returns: Managing Financial Trade-Offs for Inclusive Growth in Europe and Central Asia” argues that striking the right balance across all dimensions of financial development (stability, efficiency, inclusion, and overall depth) is crucial for achieving and sustaining inclusive growth.

Emerging Europe and Central Asia, perhaps now more than ever, faces the urgent need for financial sector reforms. Reforms are needed not only to make the region more resilient to financial shocks but also to support efforts to strengthen income growth, particularly that of the middle- to lower-income earners, many of whom since the global financial crisis have questioned the benefits of greater economic and financial integration.

Over the last 20 years, the region has confronted two major financial crises and is currently facing major banking stresses and currency pressures, if not full-blown crises, particularly in countries directly or indirectly dependent on oil exports.

Moreover, the region now has to cope with greater policy uncertainty as Britain seeks a new relationship with the European Union (EU), the refugee crisis puts pressure on policy makers to slow migration, and many countries face new internal political dynamics.

The general sense of prolonged growth stagnation since the 2008 global financial crisis and lack of real (or perceived) improvement in standards of living of lower-income earners has led to an increasing level of dissatisfaction with the status quo, reflected in the changing regional political dynamics. Indeed, for the majority of lower- and middle-income households in Emerging ECA, real income levels have declined, or not increased appreciably, since they hit their peak in 2007.

Although improving financial sector development cannot solve all these problems, it can help support stability and inclusive growth. This, in turn, may help build a consensus for complementary policies that support inclusive sustainable growth, rather than a reflexive inward tug toward isolationism and away from the liberalization and integration policies that began during the early 1990s.

This report argues that financial development must go beyond improving the access to and pricing of credit. It should help build a broad-based and balanced financial system of both bank and non-bank markets, one that enables responsible financial inclusion of firms and individuals and enhances financial efficiency and stability.

Striking the right balance across these dimensions of financial development – stability, efficiency, inclusion, and broad depth – is crucial for finance to support inclusive and sustainable growth through improved transactions, savings mobilization, screening of projects, monitoring of firm managers, and risk management.

Finding the right balance in financial development also involves trade-offs that are often overlooked, much to the peril of policymakers. Too much credit and overly generous support for financial inclusion (even if well-meaning) have led to financial bubbles and crises. Likewise, too much financial sector repression to achieve stability has generated financial exclusion and inefficiencies with negative consequences for economic opportunities and growth.

Read the Full Report here

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European Statistics: Production in Construction Up

October 2016 compared with September 2016 Production in construction up by 0.8% in euro area Up by 0.4% in EU28.

In October 2016 compared with September 2016, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.8% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.4% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In September 2016, production in construction fell by 0.8% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU28.

In October 2016 compared with October 2015, production in construction grew by 2.2% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 0.8% in production in construction in the euro area in October 2016, compared with September 2016, is due to building construction rising by 1.3%, while civil engineering fell by 1.2%.
In the EU28, the increase of 0.4% is due to building construction rising by 1.0%, while civil engineering fell by 2.4%. Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Sweden (+2.3%), France (+2.1%) and Germany (+1.7%), and the largest decreases in Slovenia (-6.8%), Hungary (-3.8%) and Slovakia (-3.5%).

Annual comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 2.2% in production in construction in the euro area in October 2016, compared with October 2015, is due to building construction rising by 2.7% and civil engineering by 0.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 1.1% is due to building construction rising by 2.6%, while civil engineering fell by 5.0%. Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Sweden (+10.1%) and the Netherlands (+8.2%), and the largest decreases were observed in Slovakia (-22.1%), Poland (-18.0%) and Bulgaria (-14.0%).

Issued by Eurostat Office 19th December 2016

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