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MPs launch investigation into export opportunities for UK businesses

23 January 2023

The International Trade Committee today launches a new inquiry into the export opportunities available to UK businesses.

The cross-party Committee of MPs calls for written evidence submissions which examine the current situation for exporters, the support offered by the Government, and how easily exporters can access it.

Over the course of its inquiry, the Committee will investigate the key barriers preventing businesses from exporting, how these can be addressed, and whether the Government could provide additional support.

It will also look at how the Government’s support for exporters compares with other countries and explore whether free trade agreements provide new opportunities, how businesses can access them, and whether extra support or guidance is needed.

The MPs will analyse the effectiveness of the Government’s initiatives for supporting exporters, including the ‘GREAT’ campaign, Export Academy, and Clean Growth Export Programme. They will consider the work of the Government’s International Trade Advisers, UK Export Finance, and teams based in UK Embassies abroad.

The Committee will also examine the extent to which the UK’s pavilions at world expos help to provide export opportunities.

After accepting written evidence, the Committee is expected to hold oral evidence sessions on the topic, before producing a report.

Terms of reference

  • What is the current situation for UK businesses exporting to: the EU; non-EU countries the UK has a trade agreement with; and countries the UK does not have a trade agreement with?
  • What are the key barriers to exporting from the UK to the rest of the world, and how can these most effectively be addressed?
  • How effective are Department for International Trade initiatives for supporting exporters, including the GREAT website, Export Academy, Clean Growth Export Programme, and the Internationalisation Fund?
  • How effective is the support offered by the Government’s International Trade Advisers, UK Export Finance and in-country teams based in UK Embassies and High Commissions abroad?
  • To what extent do the UK’s pavilions at world expos (such as that in Dubai in 2022) help to provide opportunities for exporters?
  • How does the support for exporters offered by the UK Government compare with that of other countries and what could the UK Government learn and adopt from them?
  • What opportunities do free trade agreements (FTAs) offer for exporters, how can they exploit them, and what, if any, support do they need to do so?

Deadline for submissions

Chair's comments

Commenting on the new inquiry, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, Chair of the International Trade Committee, said:

“Businesses up and down the UK are desperate to sell their wares overseas, but many report overly bureaucratic processes at a time when even the slightest increase in costs or delays can cause serious difficulties.

That’s why we’re launching an investigation into the current situation for exporters, the support offered by the Government, how easily exporters can access it, and whether the UK can learn anything from our international peers. We would encourage those with knowledge of this important area to submit evidence to our inquiry.”

Experts, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to submit evidence to the inquiry by Friday 24 March.

Further information

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