National Audit Office publishes report on UK government support for exports 

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today (15 July) published its report on UK government support for exports titled ‘Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance: Support for Exports’.

The British Exporters Association (BExA) welcomes the findings and is pleased to have had the opportunity to provide member input to this study, and for the NAO to have reviewed BExA’s 2019 UKEF benchmarking report as part of its evidence base. The report concludes that since its formation in 2016, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has made a good start in developing a strategy and the operating arrangements it needs to support export growth, and that UK Export Finance (UKEF) has expanded its offer of export finance to support UK businesses while remaining within the financial limits and controls it is set by HM Treasury.

However, with DIT and UKEF set to play a key role in taking forward the UK’s international trade policy as it leaves the EU, both face significant challenges and will need to work together to strengthen their approach. This echoes BExA’s ongoing calls for UK government to adopt a joined up, whole government approach to exporting. BExA looks forward to a reinvigorated Export Strategy later this year, and stands ready to support the government to help deliver it.

BExA Co-Chairman Marcus Dolman comments on the way forward: “We strongly advocate that DIT and UKEF seek the opinions of exporters, individually and through trade associations like BExA, before implementing any of the NAO’s recommendations to ensure that any such improvements will deliver the expected benefits to exporters.”

“Exports were critical to the UK’s future success pre-COVID-19 and they are even more important now. We all need to work together to get this right and provide the support UK plc needs to increase our exports,” Dolman adds.


Posted: 15 July 2020