Autumn Statement provides boost for exporters

Autumn Statement provides boost for exporters

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced plans to double UK Export Finance’s capacity to make it easier for British businesses to export as part of his first and final Autumn Statement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced plans to double UK Export Finance’s capacity to make it easier for British businesses to export as part of his first and final Autumn Statement.

The plans will see UK Export Finance (UKEF) have its budget doubled, helping more businesses tap into finance to help them expand overseas.

The majority of UK exports have seen overseas business soar since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union saw the pound significantly weaken.

Hammond and his team are now hoping that by pumping more money into initiatives such as UKEF they will see the trade deficit tighten.

Speaking about the announcement, Greg Hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea & Fulham and Minister of State for International Trade, tweeted:

Hands’ view was also echoed by Kerry Agiasotis, the president of Western Union Business Solutions.

Kerry said: "We welcome the chancellor’s support for small and medium sized businesses in the UK by doubling its export finance capacity in the Autumn Statement today.

"This, coupled with a relatively weak sterling represents a real opportunity for ambitious firms wanting to connect and trade with new overseas markets.

"We want to connect buyers and sellers all over the world, thousands of our clients are already benefitting from using our new digital trading tool.

"Today’s announcement supports innovation and ambition and we want to see many more SMEs understanding that new borders are within their reach.

"The traditional barriers for doing business internationally are quickly abating."

Glasgow-based Exchange Communications, which exports telecommunications equipment and services to over 100 countries across the world, has also welcomed the announcement.

Managing director Tom Sime said: "We’re pleased to see the UK Government’s support for businesses wishing to trade overseas.

"There are lucrative export opportunities available for firms with eyes on international commerce and anything which can encourage businesses to step into the global marketplace should be encouraged.

"Britain’s export potential is being curtailed by a certain wariness from some businesses, tending to focus on risk rather than gain so any government assistance will hopefully foster confidence."

UKEF has also recently thrown its support behind next year's HSBC Scottish Export Awards held by BQ in association with Scottish Enterprise.

BQ are hosting both the Scottish Export Awards and the Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, celebrating export success across the North of England and Scotland.

For more information or to nominate or book your ticket for the HSBC Scottish Export Awards, click here.

For the PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, click here.