Tie-up to aid exporting businesses

Landmark collaboration between government and banks to create the UK’s biggest export directory.

Local business leaders have given their support to a new initiative which sees the UK’s five major high street banks signing up to work with the new Department for International Trade to revolutionise the way businesses access international markets.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander are getting behind the government’s drive to populate a new and unique Directory of Exporters. The Directory will link UK companies with contacts from around the world. Potential customers and buyers from global markets will be able to search for companies from across the whole of the UK which

The Directory heralds an incredible opportunity for the UK economy and is part of wider government plans for a more digital service that will provide a world-leading platform for British businesses. The government and banks see this unique collaboration as the critical first stage in creating a ground-breaking service, aiming to make the UK the easiest place in the world from which to start exporting. Further details of the service will be revealed as the offer develops in advance of its launch in November.

Business customers of the five banks across the West Midlands region, which comprises the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, will be encouraged to join the Directory at directory.exportingisgreat.gov.uk and take advantage of this exciting opportunity to promote themselves in lucrative global markets.

Announcing the partnership, Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said: “The new Department for International Trade is perfectly placed to bring together the whole of government, industry and our extensive overseas network to help UK businesses win lucrative deals. We want to help UK businesses scale up and take advantage of the global appetite for British goods and services, as well as to demonstrate that there has never been a better time for international companies to partner with UK suppliers.

“The first of its kind, this Directory will deliver a unique and new route to global markets, promoting British goods and services on an unprecedented scale. With this kind of creativity and collaborative working between government and industry, I’m confident that we can make the whole of the UK a beacon for open trade around the world.”

Christine Hamilton, acting regional director for UKTI West Midlands, also welcomed the agreement, saying: “This is a great new initiative which will provide another way for West Midlands businesses to export. The Directory of Exporters will create a truly modern trading relationship between UK businesses and the rest of the world, providing a real boost to our exports.

“This new digital platform is another example of the government’s commitment to shaping a bright future for the UK as a global trading nation and builds on the impressive work already underway – including the Exporting is GREAT campaign – to give a vital boost to budding exporters.”

Hosted at directory.exportingisgreat.gov.uk, the Directory will be supported by extensive international marketing activity to increase and sustain the ongoing demand for UK goods and services. West Midlands companies can access support to make them more competitive internationally and register to receive live export opportunities direct to their inboxes, helping them to secure new contracts overseas.

The agreement signed today also includes measures to help the UK track progress in exports more closely, with banks pledging to work with the government on quarterly data. Together with the Directory, this forms part of the Department for International Trade’s plans to leverage digital channels more than ever before stimulating demand for, and supply of, UK exports and investment into the UK.

The newly created Department for International Trade has been charged by the Prime Minister with promoting UK trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the many opportunities available. The department is a new, specialised body, specifically designed to drive forward the trade and investment agenda.