Last reviewed 7 January 2022

A new export strategy was set out in November to help get more businesses selling more products to more countries.

The UK exported £600 billion in goods and services last year and new figures released this week show small businesses exported over £99 billion of goods and services in 2019, up by more than £700 million from the previous year. However, only 1 in 10 small businesses were selling their goods and services overseas in 2019.

“Made in the UK, Sold to the World”

The 12-point export strategy aims to help businesses across the UK double exports by giving them the tools they need to export and reap the benefits of free trade deals. Exports are central to the Government’s ambition to level up and help every part of the UK to increase trade in international markets.

  1. The Export Support Service. This will provide a single point of contact for businesses exporting to Europe, providing guidance on exporting to new markets, on the paperwork needed to sell goods abroad and rules for a specific country for selling services.

  2. Supporting exporters all over the UK. New Trade and Investment offices have been opened in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and a second DIT HQ in Darlington.

  3. Financial support for exporters. The UK SME Export Support Fund will be launched to provide small businesses with financial assistance to export and internationalise.

  4. UK Export Finance (UKEF). The export credit agency UKEF will expand its products and delivery network giving access to finance and insurance and making it easier for UK exporters to secure business from overseas buyers.

  5. Government to Government partnerships. Led by the DIT, UK businesses will be helped to access government business in critical markets around the world.

  6. UK Export Academy. This was launched in October and will help small businesses all over the UK proactively look for exporting opportunities by teaching them how to sell to international customers and secure contracts around the world.

  7. Developing export networks across the UK. Export Champions are experienced exporters who can help businesses build and learn from exporting successes through business-to-business networking and peer-to-peer learning.

  8. Export campaign “Made in the UK, Sold to the World”. The campaign will be extended to promote great UK products and services with a focus on the agri-food and drink sector amongst others.

  9. Piloting a new UK Trade show Programme. Trade shows are a critical platform to access international markets particularly for small businesses. A new programme will be launched until 2023 with training and grants. Businesses will get essential market knowledge from trade experts so that they can showcase their quality products and services at the world’s most prestigious trade shows. The DIT also continues to run overseas trade missions across a large variety of sectors and markets.

  10. Making exports easier. Conditions for trade will be made easier for businesses by making borders and trade processes work smoothly and seamlessly and making sure the approach to regulation supports trade.

  11. Global reach. British Ambassadors, High Commissioners, nine Trade Commissioners and UK government staff around the world will facilitate new business. The overseas aid programme will help open markets, build global partnerships and help to grow markets for UK goods and services. Thirty-three newly appointed trade envoys will raise the UK’s export potential.

  12. Opening markets worldwide. The Government intends to continue opening new markets for UK exporters through free trade deals, addressing market access barriers identified by business and reforming the international trading system. By the end of 2022 the aim is for 80% of UK trade to be covered by existing and new trade agreements.

Further details are at