Manufacturing Finance Summit 2018: Win, fulfill & get paid for export contracts

Posted on 21 May 2018 by Jonny Williamson

In his keynote at this year’s Manufacturing Finance Summit, UK Export Finance's Richard Simon–Lewis explained how UKEF is seeking and securing global opportunities for UK exporters by connecting UK capability with international demand.

Executives gathered to examine how the finance function is changing within UK industrial businesses at Manufacturing Finance Summit.
Executives gathered to examine how the finance function is changing within UK industrial businesses at Manufacturing Finance Summit.

Following a morning of roundtable conversations, Richard Simon-Lewis took to the stage to deliver his Manufacturing Finance Summit 2018 keynote.

He was representing the nation’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), what he referred to as the “jewel in the governance crown”.

He explained: “Our mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, working closely with colleagues in the Department for International Trade, both in the UK and globally.

“We have a wide range of flexible support on offer and are actively looking for ways to help. Our mandate ensures support worldwide and a risk appetite up to $50bn, with capabilities in more than 60 local currencies – Turkish Lira, as well as a wide range from the region.

“We work towards continued enhancement of economic relationships, and we have pioneered recent partnerships with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Iraq, and other challenging jurisdictions.”

In 2019, UKEF will have been helping UK companies to export their goods and services overseas for nearly 100 years.

However, the UKEF of today is very different to that of the past, Simon-Lewis continued. The organisation no longer plays a “passive role”, it has grown to become “far more involved in structuring deals and winning business for UK plc”.

The Manufacturer has a number of upcoming ‘summits’ which follow the same interactive format:

Last year alone, UKEF provided £3bn worth of support to more than 220 companies in the form of export credits for their customers, guaranteeing bank finance for buyers and the working capital needed for exports, and credit insurance to protect exporters in the event of customer default.

Furthermore, almost 80% of exporters benefitting from UKEF support in 2016/17 were SMEs.

UKEF can help companies access the trade finance they need to fulfill a contract, giving them the ability to take on more contracts and increase their turnover.

How does it do this? By offering export finance guidance; guarantees of up to 80% to UK companies’ banks who lend working capital for export orders; and guarantee contract bonds up to 80%, freeing up working capital for exporters.

UKEF can also help exporters manage risk in challenging markets, ensuring they get paid even where the private market is unable to offer insurance. It achieves this by offering insurance against non-payment; and should the buyer not pay or cancel the contract, the exporter is covered under UKEF’s policy.

Simon-Lewis presented case studies of how UKEF support has proved beneficial to a trio of UK manufacturing businesses, which you can read more about here:

Support in connecting with the UK supply chain

Through regular UKEF-hosted supplier fairs and one-to-one procurement meetings, UKEF has a strong track record of connecting overseas buyers and major international projects with UK suppliers.

For example, its supplier fair held in November 2016 in support of the Tahrir Petrochmeical Plant in Egypt brought together 137 suppliers, fostered almost 100 one-to-one meetings and secured $1bn in UK supplies.

Its supplier fair held in November 2017 in support of the Duqm Oman Refinery in Oman brought together 187 companies, fostered 114 one-to-one meetings and is expected to secure $250m – $500m in UK supplies.

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