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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Major Contract win for WANdisco

Software business WANdisco has secured a significant contract win with a major automotive multinational.

The group, which has a base in Sheffield, said the win had been achieved through its original equipment manufacturer sales partnership with IBM.

Under the agreement, IBM will deploy the WANdisco’s patented cloud service, WANdisco Fusion, rebranded as IBM Big Replicate, direct to the customer.

The agreement is valued at approximately $1m (£800,400) in royalties to be paid to WANdisco.

WANdisco Fusion will be used to ensure customer data is moved seamlessly between data centres and the cloud.

This deal follows a smaller order with a major European bank that IBM closed on behalf of WANdisco through the OEM sales partnership in the third quarter.

WANdisco chief executive David Richards said: “This is an extremely important contract win for WANdisco which demonstrates our OEM partnership with IBM is capable of delivering significant value for our business.

“This agreement has been secured on the basis that WANdisco Fusion was the only solution that could ensure complete data consistency without any downtime – which continues to distinguish us from our competitors.”

WANdisco designs software that allows companies to quickly search through vast amounts of customer data. Clients include Juniper Networks, Motorola, Intel and Halliburton.

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Middle East Rail, Dubai, 7-18th March 2017

UK railway suppliers are invited to join the UK Pavilion at the Middle East Rail  onference and exhibition in Dubai to meet key players and promote your products and services.

Over $300bn of planned investment in rail and public transport infrastructure in
the MENA region presents significant opportunities for British companies.
Backed by the UAE government, Middle East Rail is the largest regional
conference and exhibition for this sector, covering the GCC States, North Africa
and Central/South Asia.

This event can be key to making in-roads in the wider region and there is a
whole host of support available from the Department for International Trade
(DIT), the British Embassy, the Railway Industry Association and Intec staff, to
maximise the value of your participation.

The UK Pavilion is significant (34 companies in 2016) and surrounds the
Network Rail Consulting Infrastructure Theatre. All UK Pavilion exhibitors
receive a free delegate pass to the conference (worth $3,600), enabling them
to network with attending government ministers, operators and stakeholders,
and also pre-book roundtable seats.

There are twenty-five £2,500 DIT grants available to qualifying SMEs, to help
UK companies with exhibition costs.

Date: 7 & 8 March 2017  Where: Dubai, UAE
This event is open to all UK companies.

For further information about the UK Pavilion
Contact Andrew Blake at Intec Export Intelligence.
E: T: 01444 220 987

For information about DIT 
Contact Neil Walker at the Railway Industry Association
E: T: 020 7201 0777


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What’s HOT and what’s NOT in International Trade

What’s HOT…!

Master Cutler heading to Dubai

Companies from the Sheffield City Region are off to Dubai! The Master Cutler, Richard Edwards has pledged to represent the region during a visit to Dubai in early May 2017.

Following a joint event of the Regional Manufacturing Forum and International Trade Forum in November, attended by over 80 companies, the Master Cutler welcomed a Director from the Arab-British Chamber to the Cutlers’ Hall to present on the opportunities in the Middle East, in the UAE, highlighting specific opportunities in a variety of sectors for UK companies.

The mission will be multi-sector, and will bring additional opportunities as it coincides with Automechanika and the Hardware & Tools Middle East exhibition.

Other opportunities in the UAE are emerging from the forthcoming Expo2020. Between October 2020 and April 2021, Dubai will host the next World Expo. Bringing together more than 180 nations and an international audience of 25 million visitors, it will be one of the greatest shows on Earth.

In preparation for the event, Procurement notices are being published and refreshed on an ongoing basis and will provide opportunities for UK companies.

To find out more and/or register your interest in the trade visit please contact Renate Halton at the International Trade Forum on Grants may be available in the region for eligible companies.

UKEF – Update

Yes, it’s ok to talk about the Autumn Statement a few months on, as the Chancellor announced additional support through UKEF. In fact, it’s good news for Exporters

  • doubling its total risk appetite to £5 billion, and increasing its capacity for support in individual markets by up to 100%; this will be supported by an improved risk management framework and the use of private insurance markets to reduce Exchequer exposure
  • increasing the number of pre-approved local currencies in which UKEF can offer support from 10 to 40, enabling more overseas buyers of UK exports to pay in their own currency

So, better equipped UKEF can support exporters so that no viable exports fail for lack of finance or insurance.

UKEF’s current maximum portfolio allows £50 billion commitment, but with only approximately £20billion exposed, there is room to get the support you need.

For the full article and to find out more about UKEF click here

Sheffield City Region Growth Hub – Export Support

More locally the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub is open for business.  If you are in Growth Mode, contact the Growth Hub on 03330 00 00 39 or email to find out how their Advisors can help you in your Export journey.

NB Through DIT, grants may be available for your strategic growth in International Trade and for New Exporters.

See 5 steps to winning business overseas

 What’s NOT so hot….!

Outcome of the Effectiveness of UKTI services

 To keep myself updated I subscribe to a number of updates & newsletters from a variety of sources. So, I was surprised to see the following:

On the 1st December, the UK Parliament published a letter from lain Wright MP Chair of the Business, Energy and industrial Strategy Select Committee to Angus Brendan MacNeil MP Chair International Trade Committee on Exports and the role of UKTI, dated 23rd November 2016.

The letter indicates that they do not feel it appropriate to continue with the inquiry following the decision to leave the EU, and due to the establishment of the new International Trade Committee.

However, the letter indicates emerging findings which is noted to be of relevance for the new Committee which they might wish to consider further.

The Committee published some of the findings from contributors of nearly 100 written submissions, around six hours of oral evidence, and the time given by around 45 SME participants at a workshop as well as another EU member state.

Not huge numbers overall to be honest, and I am sure that not all agree of what has been said.

A summary of headline bullet points is published as follows:

  • The Committee heard evidence of significant flaws in UKTI’s previous operating model.
  • There appears to be an inherent tension between the value & volume export targets.
  • UKTI needs to incubate new export superstars by better supporting established exporters to move in to new markets and expand their sales.
  • Many companies place high value in face-to-face advice and are concerned that online support is often too generic and high-level.
  • We have heard strong endorsements from business for UKTI in-market support, and particularly access to trade shows and trade missions.
  • We have heard concerns about the quality of the OMIS service.
  • The Government has high social capital abroad which can open doors for business that may remain closed to third-parties.
  • Many witnesses to our inquiry found the export support landscape confusing.
  • A number of businesses highlighted specific concerns around interpreting export control requirements and international export regulations.
  • The Committee has heard evidence of mixed performance by International Trade Advisers (lTAs).
  • The UK does not appear to have a strong brand as an exporter.
  • The level of export finance support provided by UKEF appears low relative to counterparts in other countries, and awareness of UKEF also low.

If this is what is thought of the service, there is naturally an opportunity for the new International Trade Committee to follow Ian Wright MP suggestions and address the issues raised.

After all, to date the target of identifying 100 000 New Exporters and doubling exports to £1trillion by 2020 still stands as UKTI became DIT (Department for International Trade).

More details on each of the bullet points can be read in the letter here

Naturally suggestions for new services are not mentioned. What’s your view, what should a revised service offer look like?

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