UK Government urges businesses to look east

7 December 2011

UK ministers today called for more British exports to Asia. Business Secretary Vince Cable and Foreign Secretary William Hague launched a UK Trade and Investment campaign to encourage to the high-growth and emerging markets in the east. The project will be coordinated with the Royal Bank of Scotland to demonstrate ‘key business opportunities’ across 12 Asian markets.

The events will be held in February and will focus on China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. A search will be also launched to find and promote the ‘most inspiring’ British businesses currently exporting to Asia to set an example.

Cable said, ““In the last year, our exports to the 12 markets in this campaign were worth GBP 25bn (USD 39.01bn), though we are still well below potential. The Government’s recent decision to allocate an additional GBP 45M (USD 70.21M) to international trade promotion will help more medium-sized exporters and will also double the number of small and medium enterprises that UK Trade and Investment supports from 25,000 to 50,000. I urge companies from all sectors to get involved in this campaign, and see what opportunities Asia could hold for them.”

Hague added, “There can be no doubt of the importance of Asian markets, as the world’s focus shifts from West to East. By 2030 spending by Asian consumers is expected to be around USD 32tn annually or about 43 per cent of worldwide consumption. So the economic compass of British businesses should be pointing firmly east, and we are determined to support them in their efforts.

“This is commercial diplomacy in action. Around twenty of our senior diplomats with enormous commercial experience in these markets will team up with business leaders who have been there and done it. Together, they will give face-to-face advice to UK business on how they can succeed in Asia.”