A new service to help more UK businesses break onto overseas markets has been announced by the International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox.
The launch of the GREAT.gov.uk trade hub for businesses will provide them with access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, give practical advice, and signpost support to help them win contracts.
The site’s aim is to become a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors.
This is particularly relevant to the North East, which is the only UK region to be a net exporter.
Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to access the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of world’s leading online marketplaces.
By registering, businesses will also become part of a searchable directory of UK exporters, which Government will use to match their products and services with worldwide demand.
Dr Liam Fox said: “Maximising the opportunities for international trade is not only in our best economic interests – it’s crucial to the UK’s future prosperity to ensure we’re building and maintaining an economy that works for everybody.
“We have always been at the forefront of the free trade-supporting countries in the EU, but despite this, only around 11 per cent of registered British businesses currently export beyond our borders.
“Some businesses have told us they don’t know where to start or how to make the next step onto the global marketplace. That’s why we want to support UK businesses, large and small, as they grow, and help them connect with global demand to fulfil our greatest economic ambitions.
“GREAT.gov.uk will show an international audience that we’re home to the most dynamic and innovative companies in the world and that Britain is open for business as never before.”
Regional director of UKTI, David Coppock, added: “The North East region is one of the most successful in the UK with a consistent positive trade balance. The new GREAT.gov.uk trade hub gives businesses practical advice on how to access millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business.
“I would encourage businesses across the region to register and become part of the new searchable directory of UK exporters which will match their products and services with customers worldwide.”
The new digital trade hub is part of a push to help 100,000 more UK businesses export by 2020. Through e-exporting alone, Government intends to deliver an additional 20,000 online exporters and £2 billion worth of value to the UK economy by 2020.
Businesses will also be able to access the best advice and financial support through GREAT.gov.uk from Government, from public and private sector business champions, and from GREAT partners, all specifically designed to help them to grow and succeed through exports.