Exports and the role of UKTI examined by Committee

Source: – 29 January 2016

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee holds the first evidence session of its inquiry into Exports and the role of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).


Tuesday 2 February 2016, Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 9.30am

  • Professor Richard Kneller, Professor of Economics, Nottingham University
  • Professor Holger Breinlich, Professor of International Economics, Nottingham University
  • David Smith, Economics Editor, Sunday Times

At 10.30am

  • Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
  • Jon Coleman, Chair, British Exporters Association
  • Graham Cole, Former Chairman of AgustaWestland and Chair of the Cole Commission on Exports

Purpose of session

In this session, the Committee hears from academics, commentators, and senior business figures, including the Adam Smith Institute and the British Exporters Association. The session is likely to look at whether the Government’s export targets are achievable, the Government’s planned reforms to UKTI, and the availability of export finance for SMEs.

The session is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. Committee Rooms and timings are subject to change.

Further information

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Export control training bulletin

Issued from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Export Control organistaions: Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

The bulletin contains details of courses, seminars and workshops from the Export Control Organisation to increase your understanding of the UK’s strategic export controls.

Events are aimed at exporting and trading individuals or companies of all sizes, as well as government organisations and cater for a wide range of knowledge levels.

Includes all details, charges and an application form.

This issue covers new courses from January to June 2016. Remaining unfilled events from November and December 2015 are also included.



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Cross-government approach at heart of new drive to boost exports

UKTI to be at the centre of a new approach to boosting British exports, and overseeing and co-ordinating export performance.

A new whole-of-government approach to boosting British exports delivered through a transformed, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), focused on priority markets and sectors, has been announced today (19 January 2016) by Trade Minister Lord Maude.

UKTI will be at the centre of this new approach, overseeing and co-ordinating export performance on behalf of the cross-government Exports Implementation Taskforce, led by Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

o increase the number of exporters, UKTI is focusing on transforming its digital service, using new technology to meet the needs of more businesses and increase cost efficiencies. The 5-year Exporting is GREAT marketing campaign launched in November 2015 to drive up the number of new exporters is one part of this work, and has already generated more than 4,750 applications for export opportunities. In addition, having consulted UK businesses to find out what they need to help boost their exports, UKTIis now developing a single digital platform to help businesses find the export information, support, and advice they need, be it from government or private sector providers.

New Practical and Financial Support for Businesses: UKTI will develop a suite of new practical and direct support products and services, based on best practice and learning from competitor countries’ export promotion agencies. Over the coming months, UKTI will pilot these services and products to ensure they adequately reflect businesses’ needs.

Where export services can be provided by the private sector, with no or little value provided by government’s involvement, the government ultimately intends to exit that market and will focus instead on fostering an invigorated private sector export support marketplace.

UKTI will continue to provide a range of cross-sector support including enhanced support for trade missions and fairs, GREAT marketing and events, and access to on-demand export opportunities.

For the full announcement please click here

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Business Sheffield China Trade Mission – late March 2016

This is part of a series of events we are running to showcase Sheffield in China. Having already received very positive interest in the Mission from some of our best growing companies we have just 5 places left.  If you are interested in the following:

  • Over £3,000 in support towards expenses;
    Help with making contacts prior to travel; pre visit market research and; an overseas market introductory service.
    “In market” activities such as official receptions and briefings; and
    Assistance in the run up to the mission with 100 hours of free support from a University of Sheffield Chinese student.

Please contact for more information.

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Are you finding EU rules are making it difficult to Innovate?

As part of its role in helping UK firms to innovate and grow internationally, the Enterprise Europe Network, working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, would like to support the Commission in this work and help identify EU regulatory barriers companies based in the UK are facing when they are seeking to innovate.

In their effort to help the Commission, it is important that we assist in finding out more about any specific EU regulations which are hindering innovation, what the barrier is and what impact it is having. We therefore would seek your answers to the following questionnaire (details of company and contact names are for our information only and will not be passed to the Commission)

Please click here to have your say

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Export opportunities opened up by UKTI

An IT security awareness provider has hailed the opportunities created by a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) trip as the organisation prepares to take businesses interested in overseas trade on visits to The Hague, Lisbon and Madrid.

The trips are open to small and medium-sized businesses with little or no international trading experience and not already selling to the markets they are visiting and want to target.

As part of UKTI’s First-Time Exporters package of support, the mission to Lisbon and Madrid runs from 18 to 20 January 2016 and that to The Hague for companies wanting to export to Benelux countries is between 16 and 18 February.

One business to benefit from the Export Insight Visit programme is Bob’s Business, an information security awareness training provider with ten staff based at the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley, South Yorkshire that joined a recent Visit to Riga in Latvia focused on cyber security.

Bob’s visited Riga in November 2015 because it wanted to develop a newly-established relationship with a Latvian partner.

Melanie Oldham, managing director of Bob’s Business said: “The visit gave us the opportunity to work with Latvian businesses to enhance our current product range and also to develop a localised version of or product for testing in the local market.”

Other Yorkshire companies to have joined a previous export insight visit to Iberia include giftware provider Pigment Productions and business and consumer services providers Adigi and Saxton Partners, all three of which are based in Harrogate, Bradford mechanical and process engineering firm Chanter Biomed and Aventus Law of Leeds.

Mark Robson, UKTI regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The export insight visits have proved to be a great way for first time exporters to open the door to potentially lucrative markets overseas for their goods and services.”

Source: Business Insider, 8 January 2016

To find out more about the Insight visits or seek support from UKTI please contact or call 0300 365 1000

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The Biggest Trends in Digital Media in 2015

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to recap on what has been a busy year in the digital media landscape. Parsely, a company that specializes on audience analytics, conducted a year-end poll among hundreds of digital publishers worldwide to identify the most notable trends of the past 12 months.

According to the survey results, summed up in our chart, the fact that mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic for many publishers has been the most noteworthy development in 2015. The pace at which mobile content caught up with and finally surpassed desktop content is truly astonishing. Less than 10 years ago, the smartphone was a niche gadget and now it is arguably the most important device for content consumption.

Other notable trends and topics in 2015 include the increase in social content distribution, ad-blocking and a more strategic use of analytics.

This charts shows the results of a survey among digital publishers regarding the biggest trends in 2015.

Source: Statista



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Business leaders back Britain’s ambitions for growth

First ambassadors announced for International Festival for Business 2016

Prominent entrepreneurs and leaders within Britain’s business community have today pledged their support for the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2016.

The unveiling of the new cohort of ambassadors for IFB2016 comes as new data shows the inaugural festival was directly responsible for more than £280 million worth of deals and sales.

Backed by HM Government, IFB2016 is the world’s biggest business festival. It will bring together thousands of global businesses, providing a platform for companies to connect and conduct international commerce. Put simply it is a global marketplace where deals are done.

Announced today, the first wave of IFB2016 Ambassadors:

• Kelly Hoppen MBE, Interior Designer
• Wayne Hemingway MBE, Co-Founder, Red or Dead and Hemingway Design
• Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founder, Cobra Beer
• Will Butler-Adams OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Brompton Bicycles
• Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS, Vice Chancellor, University of Sheffield
• Manish Madhvani, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, GP Bullhound
• Claire Braithwaite, Head, Tech North

They join world-leading business organisations that have already partnered with the festival, including HSBC, DLA Piper, Heathrow, Siemens, PWC and Virgin Trains.

The ambassadors’ unveiling comes as new data demonstrates the impact of the inaugural Festival. The first comprehensive evaluation report’s highlights found:

• More than £280 million of total investment deals and export sales
• More than 6,000 jobs have been created by IFB participants, a figure expected to rise to 8,000
• More than 2,000 companies secured domestic sales worth hundreds of millions of pounds
• More than 600 companies secured export sales worth more than £80 million
• More than 150 companies signed investment deals worth £200 million

IFB2014 was a global showcase for great British business and the largest business festival in the world this year. The 50-day festival in Liverpool attracted 68,600 business attendees from 92 countries at 415 event.

Next summer’s festival follows the success of the inaugural IFB in 2014, which produced more than £200m of investment deals and new export sales totaling more than £80m were the direct result of introductions and connections facilitated by the event.

As a global showcase for great British industries and sectors, the festival is a key date in the UK and international business calendar commencing on 13 June 2016. It will focus on three key sectors that are transforming the business landscape of Britain and beyond, including: manufacturing; creative & digital; and energy and environment.

Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of IFB2016, said:

“With the backing of UK government and support of such reputable business leaders, the International Festival for Business 2016 will undoubtedly be the greatest global business showcase of next year.

“The UK’s hidden business gems will come together to define the future of international business – showcasing the best Britain has to offer and forging long lasting global business relationships. Our ambassadors will play a crucial role in ensuring the legacy and impact of IFB2016.”

Source: IFB 2016

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Top Rotherham exporters reveal secrets of their success

Three of Rotherham’s leading exporters are set to share their export journey, offer their insights and reveal their top tips for local businesses looking to break into international trade at an event organised by UKTI, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and RIDO.

The free breakfast event aims to help grow the Rotherham Economy by helping every business fulfil their export potential.

Being held at Fusion@Magna in Rotherham on October 15, it is aimed at entrepreneurs looking to take their first step in exports, businesses wanting to get top tips on expanding overseas operations or for anyone wanting to meet valuable contacts who can share their expertise and global networks.

From rapid growth stories and becoming a recognised world leader in specialist sectors to how a party planning crisis turned into a multi-million international business empire, the event will offer unique insights into finding success overseas and guests will also be able to ask these business leaders how they overcame the export challenges they have faced.

Those attending will also receive a free copy of a new guide to international trade called Five Steps To Export, which offers simple advice on identifying new opportunities overseas and how you can find growth on foreign shores.

The companies speaking at the event will be:

Gala Tents – Founded by Jason Mace in Rotherham and is now one of the world’s leading distributors of quality marquees and gazebos. After spotting a gap in the market when he had a millennium party planning crisis, Jason now turns over more than £10m a year and exports to dozens of countries around the globe.

Newburgh Engineering – The advanced manufacturing business from Rotherham works on some of the world’s most demanding engineering projects from nuclear reactors and state-of-the-art military equipment to the next world record breaking land speed attempt with the supersonic Bloodhound project. It has customers in a wealth of countries and is in high demand around the globe.

Pyronix – As a Rotherham-based world leader in the manufacture of security equipment including control panels, detectors and external sounds, Pyronix has grown 15% every year since 2010 and is now on course to reach £20m of annual sales by the end of 2014, 40% of which is in international markets.

Regional director of UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Mark Robson, says: “Exports are crucial to the future prosperity of this region and our country. Brand Britain is in high demand across the globe and our businesses should be making the most of these opportunities.

“This event will allow businesses in Rotherham to hear how their neighbours are finding growth in international trade, learn how they can do the same and also meet like-minded businesses who can help them on their export journey.

“Without exports your business isn’t fulfilling its growth potential. International trade isn’t difficult, it’s just different and we hope this event will help inspire more to take their first steps into a new market.”

William Beckett, who won two Queen’s Awards for International Trade with William Beckett Plastics and is Chair of the Sheffield City Region Export Partnership, adds: “Exports are crucial to the success of my own business and the LEP is dedicated to helping more businesses deliver growth through international trade.

“We are world leaders in everything from the products we produce to the services we provide in this region and we should be doing everything we can to ensure every business fulfils its export potential.

“By sharing some of the incredible success stories in Rotherham with local business leaders we are confident we can encourage others to follow their examples.

“By working together and sharing our experiences and contacts we can really show the world what the Sheffield City Region has to offer the world.”

The free event at Fusion@Magna on October 15 starts at 8am and attendees will hear from each of the exporters before getting the chance to ask their own questions.

To register for a place, visit


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EU and Vietnam reach agreement on free trade deal

Following a telephone conversation this morning between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, all issues of substance have been agreed on, and both sides have reached a mutually beneficial and balanced package.

This agreement will remove nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. “We have a deal. This finely balanced agreement will boost trade with one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. It sets a new, better and modern model for Free Trade Agreements between the EU and developing countries, and establishes a good standard for the trade relationship between the EU and South East Asia as a whole.” said Commissioner Malmström.

“Vietnam is a growing economy and once this agreement is up and running, it will provide significant new opportunities for companies on both sides, by increasing market access for goods and services. Over 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports, so having easier access to a growing and fast developing market like Vietnam, with its 90 million consumers, is great news. And Vietnam’s exporters will now get much easier access to the EU for their products, giving an important boost to the Vietnamese economy. Both sides have worked extremely hard in the past few months to achieve this breakthrough”, she added.

On the basis of today’s agreement, the negotiating teams will now continue the process, settle some remaining technical issues and finalise the legal text. Once finalised, the agreement will then need to be approved by the Council and European Parliament.

Read the press release and a detailed memo on the EU-Vietnam FTA.

Source: European Commission

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