The UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has revealed new plans to bring more than 200 trade advisers and their support teams in-house.
According to a report from The Times, the DIT will bring its International Trade Service in-house by July 2022.
The DIT said the move is part of its campaign to help grow UK exports to £1 trillion per year by 2030.
The services, which are aimed at small and medium-sized companies, are currently delivered by private sector partners, including chambers of commerce.
As quoted by The Times, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) – one of the DIT’s advisory partners – said it was “surprised” by the move and was “disappointed not to be given the opportunity to formally make the case to continue delivering the service.”
The BCC also said that it is concerned that the move will mean that “many firms will receive a reduced level of support.”
With the trade advisory contracts worth a combined £18 million per year, bringing the International Trade Service in-house will also result in one less revenue stream for those participating advisory partners, such as BCC.
The UK exported £600 billion in goods and services last year, however, only around one in 10 businesses in the UK currently export – with the number of goods exporters falling behind continental competitors like Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands.