UK's International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox celebrated the Department for International Trade's (DIT) first anniversary by encouraging British businesses to export, building on the UK's history as a great trading nation.
As a leading advocate of free trade and open markets DIT is helping UK businesses to seize the exciting opportunities posed by trade with the rest of the world and is working with key trading partners to strike trade deals once we have left the EU.
DIT has already helped to secure billions of pounds in export opportunities, and since its creation in July 2016, the department has also supported:
- a trade mission to India which resulted in £1.2 billion worth of business deals
- the largest ever healthcare trade mission to China which saw British organisations sign deals worth more than £250 million
- UK architecture firms to secure a contract worth tens of millions of pounds in UAE
DIT has also set up ten trade working groups across 15 countries to strengthen trade and commercial ties with our key trading partners around the world.
Recent figures revealed that the UK attracted more foreign direct investment projects than ever before in the year 2016-17. With more than 2,200 projects recorded, the post-referendum figures showed an increase of two percent over the previous year. The data also showed that 75,226 new jobs were created, and 32,672 safeguarded, amounting to over 2,000 jobs per week across the country.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
"Over the past twelve months we've helped secure more foreign direct investment projects than ever before, supported thousands of UK businesses on their export journey, and continue to promote the UK's trade values across the world.
"Britain has always been a great trading nation and we want to agree a deep and special partnership with the EU including a bold and ambitious free trade agreement and a customs agreement. And as we leave the EU, we will be able to take advantage of the growing global markets and design a trade relationship in Britain's national interest. There has never been a better time for our dynamic and creative businesses to export their goods and services abroad".
Latest trade statistics show that UK exports of goods and services have increased - exports stand at £547.6 billion - up 23.2% on 2010 and up 5.8% on 2015*.India's relations with the UK have continued to thrive, and it remains one of the UK's largest investors. India established 127 new investment projects last year, as the UK's fourth largest investor. Whilst adding 3,999 new jobs, India safeguarded more jobs than any other country, at 7,645 existing jobs. This demonstrates real commitment to the fundamental and unchanged strengths of the UK economy.
The UK has also strengthened its position as the single largest G20 investor in India, supporting close to 800,000 jobs, according to the CBI's second Sterling Assets India report, supported by PwC and the UK India Business Council.
Dr. Alexander Evans, Acting British High Commissioner to India said, "The vibrant economic relationship between India and the UK continues to flourish, as the consistently strong figures on bilateral trade and investment show. Our Department for International Trade, celebrating its first anniversary, is central to ensuring that the bilateral business relationship is flourishing, driving jobs and growth in both economies. As Prime Minister Modi said, the UK and India are an 'unbeatable combination' and there's a lot more to come."
The Department for International Trade
The Department for International Trade is responsible for delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK and promoting British trade and investment across the world, to ensure Britain is firmly at the forefront of global trade and investment.
Through great.gov.uk, the department gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds' worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting with more than 2.4 million visits to the website so far.
Last month internationally recognised expert Crawford Falconer was appointed as Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser to act as head of profession for trade negotiators, bringing over 25 years of public service in trade and foreign affairs.
Also last month, the Department announced that duty-free access to the UK for imports from nations across the developing world will be maintained after Brexit. The move means that around 48 countries, including Bangladesh, Haiti and Ethiopia, will continue to benefit from the arrangements on all goods bought by the UK.
Department for International Trade in numbers:
1. DIT has established 10 working groups with 15 countries, including Australia, China, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, India, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey, USA and South Korea
2. International Trade Ministers have visited 47 markets on more than 90 international visits to promote the UK as a great, global, trading nation
3. The headcount at DIT has increased to a global workforce of over 3,100, which includes an international network includes an international network of 1,291 people
4. The Trade Policy Group that includes policy and country specialists, as well as expert economic analysts and lawyers, has itself grown fivefold in size.