The government today released its new ‘Export Strategy’ aimed at raising exports as a proportion of UK GDP from 30% to 35%, transforming the country into a ‘21st Century exporting superpower’.

With UK exports at a record high due to the weakened pound and high global demand, the strategy plans to increase market access and trade financing options for the UK’s would-be exporters.

The strategy also calls on businesses to become ‘Export Champions’, with peer-to-peer learning and support a key tactic to incentivise those who could but do not currently export.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox said:

“Currently, exporting represent around 30% of our GDP – broadly similar to France, Italy and Canada, but substantially behind Germany. Given the strength of the UK economy, we should be reaching for the top of the pack – not lingering in the middle.

“That is why today I am announcing a new national ambition to raise exports as a proportion of our GDP from 30% to 35%, putting us towards the top of the G7. This is challenging, but achievable as we build a truly Global Britain.”

We believe that exporting is great, but so is the need to understand how to do it profitably and with skill – it’s easy when you know how

The strategy will encourage more companies to consider exporting and more countries to look at UK goods and services. It will provide finance in areas of market failure, and use the connecting and convening power of government more effectively.

A ‘Business Productivity Review’ will look into exporting support in the public and private spheres, currently available to businesses looking to increase their exports, particularly SMEs.

This will encompass UK Export Finance, DIT’s International Trade advisers, and the great.gov.uk website.

Speaking at the launch of the Government’s Export Strategy on Tuesday, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the government’s pledge to work in close partnership with business to identify and maximise opportunities for UK companies exporting to markets around the world. “We warmly welcome the government’s pledge in the new Export Strategy to work hand-in-hand with business to unlock opportunities for UK firms all across the globe.”

The Institute of Export also welcomed “the enthusiasm and ambition of the strategy” but believes that more should be done to train individuals and businesses in the skills of international trade, to raise genuine understanding about the myriad processes and compliance requirements involved in global trade.

With Brexit on the way, and the potential impact this will have on business’ international supply chains and customs compliance requirements, it’s never been more important for businesses to properly learn export skills – whether it be how to make customs declarations, understanding rules of origin, or ensuring compliance with anti-bribery laws.