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URN 12/P65B ISSN: 1758-440X
welcome to springboard
n recent months, I have travelled the UK meeting British business people to highlight our national challenge – the challenge of getting more SMEs to export. If 100,000 more companies exported, they would generate an extra £30bn for the UK economy. To this end, UK Trade & Investment has set itself the task of doubling the number
of SMEs it helps every year to 50,000 by 2015, and will work on raising the number of mid-sized fi rms that export from roughly one in fi ve to one in four. UK Trade & Investment’s chief executive Nick Baird is reshaping UK Trade &
Investment in order to deliver this step change, as noted in this edition of springboard. More details on these developments will be outlined in upcoming issues. The UK also needs to expand its links with the high growth markets. With this in mind, Government Ministers have been leading more trade missions around the world. We all know that it’s a marathon not a sprint, but we’re already seeing results.
In 2011, the UK exported almost £50bn more goods than it did the previous year, a rise of 12 per cent. Emerging markets are rising up the list of the UK’s top 50 destinations for goods exports. Russia and India have both jumped up four places to 18th and 15th respectively. Other risers include emerging markets such as South Africa, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Turkey. Goods exports to China are up 22 per cent over the year. They are also up 20 per
cent for South Africa, 30 per cent for Russia and an impressive 40 per cent for India. There is also export growth to the UK’s traditional markets in the USA and the
European Union, despite gloom in the Eurozone. Exports of goods to the USA are up £1.8bn, and exports of goods to Germany are up £4.6bn. This issue of springboard highlights opportunities in the BRIC nations, where rapidly
emerging middle classes are fuelling a signifi cant growth in demand. Promising markets include Brazil and South Africa, both of which are covered in depth. Insights are also given into the new Enterprise Zones which look set to boost
the UK’s status as a leading inward investment destination, into the country’s world-leading motorsport industry and a new initiative in our globally renowned design sector. The more I travel around the country, the more it becomes evident that the UK
has all the creativity, innovation and drive that we need to compete on the world stage. With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games just around the corner, and with Government programmes providing wide-ranging encouragement and support, there has never been a better time for Britain to show exactly how ‘GREAT’ it can be.
Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment