Osborne said: “We are backing our exporters so that wherever you are around the world you cannot fail to see ‘Made in Britain'”
Specifically, the money will go towards the Direct Lending scheme which was announced last year, and will now be made permanent. Direct Lending offers loans to overseas purchasers of capital goods exported from the UK.
The conditions on loan sizes will be relaxed and UKEF will cut lending rates by a third to the lowest level permitted by international agreements.
A new export refinancing scheme will also begin by the end of next month, helping ensure overseas customers of British exports have access to finance from their creditors.
The Government is also consulting on legal changes to beef up the powers of UKEF, as detailed below:
- A more generalised ability to assist and support businesses in the UK that are, or wish to become, involved in exporting or exporting supply chains, for example, by providing guarantees of general working capital facilities or by providing information or advice;
- The ability to support exports of intellectual property rights and other intangibles;
- More flexibility when supporting UK exports, in particular where there are complex contracting chains and financing arrangements or where exports are made via overseas subsidiaries or joint venture companies;
- More scope to support projects and business ventures overseas to which goods or services sourced from UK exporters are directly or indirectly supplied.
A common concern about the UK’s business support schemes in general is a lack of awareness, so the Government will also be stepping up its marketing and comms efforts in a bid to increase takeup.