ICC UK welcomes role for trade bodies in boosting exports

 ICC UK has today welcomed the publication of a report by MPs on the UK Government’s new trade and investment strategy.

The report—written by the House of Commons Business Select Committee—suggests that efforts to persuade more SMEs to export are at risk because of cuts to the funding of the Government’s trade promotion arm, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

ICC UK’s evidence to MPs drew attention to the need to give further thought to how the core-parts of the new UKTI strategy will work in practice. Whilst funding and personnel are key to this, we think that further thought needs to be given to improving some of UKTI’s existing products, as well as exploring innovative delivery mechanisms for support services.

Following the publication of the report, ICC UK’s Director, Stephen Pattison, said:

“This report should help focus minds on the challenge ahead of us. Just one in five UK SMEs currently sell abroad. UKTI’s strategy is a promising start, but we now need to focus on getting the delivery right”.

Mr Pattison added:

“We particularly welcome the report’s recommendation that UKTI should look to work more proactively with business associations. Our experience suggests that ICC’s international network can act as a powerful tool for UK firms.”

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Notes to editors:

1. ICC UK is the voice of international business in the UK. We aim to further our members' interests by making it easier for them to trade internationally. Members include 17 of the top 20 FTSE companies, many smaller firms, law firms and business associations.

2. The Select Committee report and ICC UK’s evidence can be accessed at the Parliament website [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmbis/735/73502.htm]

3. For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Wilson on: +44 (0)20 7838 7458 or +44 (0)7860 560 330.