International Trade

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Creative SMEs to get £500m trade boost

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UK Trade & Investment has announced a drive to help the UK’s creative companies win high-value contracts overseas.

UKTI will support a taskforce of the UK’s top 100 creative SMEs to win £500m worth of high-value overseas contracts in the next three years. The initiative is part of a government plan to get 100,000 more UK businesses exporting.

Companies on the taskforce include Zaha Hadid Architects, The British Museum, AKQA, ADCreative London, FutureBrand, Mother, ES Global, factorydesign, Populous and the V&A. They span the transport, healthcare, retail, cultural developments and global sports sectors.

“The growing appetite for British design offers many opportunities for innovative firms of all sizes to boost their overseas trade and attract new investment,” says Business Secretary Vince Cable. 

Collectively, the creative industries already generate more than £36bn a year for the UK economy – £70,000 every minute – and employ 1.5 million people.

“From airport interiors to ground-breaking medical devices and design exhibitions, the creative industries account for around £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports and are crucial to building a stronger economy. With new support from UKTI, we want to help creative SMEs access more high value supply chain opportunities across the globe,” Cable explains.

Each company in the taskforce will have its own international expansion plan and participate in a minimum of two overseas visits each year to target high value projects. 

They will also receive training, support and networking opportunities directly related to these high-value opportunities from UKTI and work with international trade advisers to identify the projects they are most qualified to bid for.

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