The Department for International Trade (DIT) is setting up four major new trade and investment hubs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the North of England.
The hubs will be established in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and a new second major DIT site in Darlington, as part of the government’s wider ‘levelling up’ agenda to boost exports and spread the trade activity throughout the country; as well as taking advantage from possible future free trade agreements with the US, Australia, New Zealand and CPTPP.
A team of experts will be appointed at each hub to provide business with advice and support in order to help them to maximize their export potential and access major overseas trade markets. The hubs will also support the launch of high-profile export campaigns that will seek to maximise export potential and boost UK enterprise in global markets. Export firms will also have a direct feed into UK trade policy and make the most of opportunities in fast-growing markets.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “I’m determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These trade and investment hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery.
“They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters – whether they’re selling Scotch beef, Welsh Lamb or cars made in the North of England – have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest growing markets.”
Last year, goods exports from the North of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were £98. 4bn. The four hubs are expected to have 550 members of staff by 2025, with an ambition to increase this to 750 staff by 2030. Government-led research shows exports support 6.5m jobs across the UK, 74% of which are outside London. The report also shows that jobs directly and indirectly supported by exports pay around 7% higher than the national median, with Office for National Statistics estimating that goods exporting businesses are also 21% more productive.
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