UKTI will “become more entrepreneurial”

UKTI must adopt a more entrepreneurial approach in order to help businesses grow, Vince Cable, the business secretary, said this morning.

As part of the government’s Plan for Growth, UKTI and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have signed up to a new charter to support international business, champion UK business overseas and attract investors to the UK.

With the new charter, UKTI will actively seek out overseas investors, help UK companies expand into overseas markets and work more closely with key British companies. This could be delivered through a new private sector delivery partner, the government has said.

“We’re rightly proud of British firms and making sure they can increase their exports to a worldwide audience is vital if we are to rebuild our economy,” said Vince Cable.?

UKTI aims to become more entrepreneurial by:

  • Bringing more private sector expertise into its relationship with exporters and inward investors
  • Developing new partnerships with key businesses that support SMEs, and using their networks to raise awareness
  • Creating a new online self-help community for UK SME exporters
  • Establishing a new Strategy Task Force
“Our plans will ensure that UKTI is well equipped to face the demands of the future, listening to the concerns of businesses so we have an economic climate that benefits us all,” said trade minister Lord Green.

The announcements today are aimed at showing that the government is putting money where its mouth is: Britain is, and remains, open for business, and the government is putting the nation’s commercial interests at the heart of its foreign policy.

UKTI’s work has been widely praised by SMEs (which make up 90 per cent of UKTI users) in the past, and is profitable for UK plc ? for every ?1 spent, UKTI generates ?22 for the UK economy.

Business leaders welcomed this morning’s announcement. David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Britain’s recovery depends on improving our international trading position, and so we welcome these measure to put trade, investment and growth at the heart of UK foreign policy. The focus on trade promotion for SMEs will be crucial to connecting smaller businesses with opportunities in the global marketplace.”

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