EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) have agreed to collaborate to promote UK exports to the world’s emerging economies.
The partnership is to last three years and was agreed yesterday in a memorandum of understanding. The two organisations will drive forward initiatives and give practical support to manufacturers of all sizes in the UK, with a view to boosting exports.
While EEF data shows that just over two fifths of manufacturers have exports that account for over half their turnover, only 20% of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can say the same. This compares to roughly 25% in the EU. For the UK to make the most of its high-tech expertise and wide-ranging and deep R&D base, exports need to increase drastically, according to EEF and UKTI.
The two organisations made it clear that they realise breaking into foreign markets is difficult and expensive: often requiring a lot of investment. However, both said in a joint statement that with the right guidance and information, the task can become a lot easier. Help that is to be made available to manufacturers include seminars, new website resources and regular joint speaking opportunities at EEF and UKTI events. The emphasis is on sharing knowledge and expertise between peers at these events.
EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: “By combing the expertise of UKTI with EEF’s access to market, companies will be set fair to reap the benefits of the unique expertise to which they will gain access.”
Susan Haird, acting chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “Manufacturers that export can achieve a level of growth that would not otherwise be possible; exporting can also help companies develop new products and services.”