The UK government has announced an ambitious new plan to double the value of British exports to £1 trillion per year by 2030.

Under the banner of ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’, the initiative aims to help UK exporters access new markets and export greater volumes of goods and services.

The 12-point export strategy, published by the Department for International Trade (DIT), will give businesses the tools they need to become a nation of exporters and reap the benefits of the UK’s free trade deals.

The strategy includes an Export Support Service for exporting advice, and the launch of a new UK Tradeshow Programme tailored to help businesses, particularly those outside London and the South East, to attend and promote their products around the world.

DIT will also be expanding its Export Academy – launched in October – to roll it out across all of the UK, including Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The academy will invite owners and managers of SMEs to access masterclasses, roundtables, and networking events aimed at helping them overcome common challenges that first-time exporters face.

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.

UKEF believes that unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help boost the nation’s economy, with government-led research estimating that exports currently support 6.5 million jobs across the UK, and showing that exporters pay higher wages and are on average 21% more productive.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is calling on businesses to ‘Race to a Trillion’, by capitalising on untapped opportunities in the world’s fast-growing markets.

“This is a defining moment in our national trading story,” she said. “Our export strategy will help more businesses start exporting and help those who already export to sell more products to more countries.

“Reaching £1 trillion worth of exports by the end of this decade means more jobs, more opportunities, and higher wages helping the UK to level up and build back better.”

This week, DIT is running its inaugural International Trade Week, featuring a series of over 100 events and workshops across the country, hosted by expert trade advisors and aimed at helping businesses to take advantage of the export support available to them.

Mike Freer, minister for exports, said: “We know businesses are at different points on their exporting journey. Some are already successful exporters but want to sell more products or reach new markets. Others are yet to take the leap and export for the first time.

“Whatever your story, our tailored support, expertise, and international network is here and ready to help you maximise your ambitions and sell to the world.”

DIT’s strategy will also help replicate the higher levels of exporting seen in the South East of England across all parts of the country, in line with the prime minister’s ambition to transform the UK into a high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy.

The 12-point strategy includes: 

  • Launching the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign, championing the UK’s priority sectors through an innovative, localised marketing campaign that will promote the best of British goods and services in our towns and cities.
  • The Export Support Service provides a single point of contact for exporters to Europe. Since launching in October the new export hotline and online service has helped hundreds of businesses to get exporting.
  • UK Export Academy expansion to offer SMEs in all parts of the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the chance to learn how to navigate the technicalities of exporting and how to find new opportunities in overseas markets. 
  • A new UK Tradeshow Programme will be bigger and better targeted to give UK companies, especially SMEs, a leg-up to exhibit their first-class products at the world’s biggest tradeshows.
  • UK Export Finance – the UK’s export credit agency – will expand its offer with new products and a wider delivery network that will make it easier for UK exporters to secure business from overseas buyers.
  • Export Champions, ensuring businesses can build and learn from exporting successes through business-to-business networking and peer-to-peer learning
  • Internationalisation Fund, open to SMEs in England, will aim to grow international sales, and has facilitated £4 million of support to SMEs attending Trade Fairs.