Boosting UK exports
Business leaders from across the UK attended the official opening this week of Barclays’ new Trade Centre in Birmingham by Baroness Rona Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade.
The new centre – which is committed to providing export support to 1,000 UK businesses every year – is part of the bank’s strategy to boost British exports by helping companies both to start exporting sooner, and to sell more of their products overseas.
Baroness Fairhead said she was “delighted” to be opening the centre, adding: “Time and again we have seen the boost that exporting gives to UK businesses. By selling their goods and services around the world, companies can increase profits, employ more workers and create businesses which endure longer. I would encourage businesses up and down the country to make the most of the team’s expertise.”
More than 30 export and trade product specialists will be based at the office in the Snow Hill area of the city as the latest additions to the bank’s global network of over 300. The new team will support British businesses to export into markets including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
With uncertainty surrounding the shape of the UK economy post-Brexit, the centre will also play an important role in supporting clients, both existing and new, with timely guidance on trade finance, barriers to trade and administration.
Speaking at the launch, James Webber, Barclays’ Director of Trade and Working Capital in the Midlands, said: “Whatever the deal looks like, we at Barclays are there to work with businesses up and down the country providing guidance, support and advice to help drive more export business for the UK.”
Listening to business
At the event, local businesses and professional trade and exporting bodies took part in a roundtable discussion with Baroness Fairhead, sharing their views on how to boost UK exports. Chaired by Professor Mark Kleinman of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, the discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges facing UK exporters from a diverse range of sectors.
Adrian Coleman, Managing Director of Master Magnets, a Redditch-based company that designs and manufactures industrial magnets, was one attendee. With 34 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Adrian commented: “We have exported our equipment globally for many years, but today has shown me that there is a lot of information and assistance out there that our business currently doesn’t tap into, so it has been really useful to attend an event like this.”