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Equip UK exporters with tools to succeed and take advantage of new high-growth markets

Last updated: 03:29pm 8 December 2019

We will work to forge a new culture of exporting among UK businesses, equipping them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed in the global marketplace, and take advantage of new high-growth markets around the world.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.15

Our verdict

In 2016, the UK exported 28% of its GDP in goods and services. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), exports from the UK continued increasing, with the service sector, excluding travel, transport and banking, reaching £162.1 billion in 2017. Nevertheless, emerging economies and the UK’s exit from the EU are expected to transform the international economic landscape. This policy promised to forge a “new culture of exporting”, equipping UK businesses with the tools and opportunities to succeed in the global marketplace, and take advantage of new high-growth markets around the world.

In August 2018, the government published its Export Strategy, confirming the ambition to raise exports to 35% of GDP. Measures include export credit facilities, export insurance, supplier fairs, offering advice and practical assistance and providing further support through the GREAT campaign. The government is continuing strategic partnerships overseas, including involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative with China, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Nevertheless, according to ONS trade data, exports fell in 2018.

In line with the strategy, throughout 2019 the government published export sector plans for security, cyber-security and international education.

The government has set out a new overarching strategy – comprehensive, sector-specific plans – aimed at removing barriers to exports and taking advantage of high-growth markets. However, at the end of the government’s term of office, the strategy was still at the early stages of implementation, so this policy remains ‘in progress’.

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