UK exporters call for more trade supportBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Feb 2014
Page 4 of the UK edition of the Financial Times “Upbeat exporters call for more trade support”.
UK government want to double uk exports to £1 turn by 2020 but spends just 0.02% on promoting uk business abroad. That’s about £ 100 million by my maths.
As many (though not all UK based) of us are involved in business travel, whether for goods or services, how many think this sum should be increased and what is the best way to achieve it.
From my side, I think a reduction in APD and other airport taxes would help.
More negotiations on visa free travel.
More assistance from Britain’s Embassy’s abroad. They do a great job and I count many ambassadors and trade attaches amongst my friends, but their budgets are limited, so more money there surely?
I’m very interested in what else could / should be done. Any ideas?12 Feb 2014
Make vocational training a big priority and skill up the workforce, help Uk companies to produce specialist goods that the third world cannot produce on low cost basis.12 Feb 2014
As above, and now my Camel day rant !
Sadly, this governments’ proclamation of action, like others before it, is just a windbag of rhetoric.
The business community have for a long time requested policy change on a whole raft of anti-business agendas that successive governments have implemented to appeal to whatever voting group their spin doctors deem necessary to win short term favouritism.
Managing the polls to our politicians is far more important than managing UK PLC
1) The biggest damage to export industry was done back in the 80’s when Mrs T’s dogma changed the way, foreign students study at our universities’. Short termism at its worst and yet no successive government has been brave enough to reverse this damaging law. In fact our current lot, are Daily Mailing themselves into discouraging the future foreign purchasers from studying here.
2) Now onto the SE Aviation policy…….or maybe not…. See above !
3) Make foreign languages mandatory at school; in fact make education mandatory at school.
4) Stop pandering to the banks, and re-distribute the wealth from the square mile to manufacturing across the UK!
5) I’m getting more and more angry with the Westminster politicians as the Scotland question becomes more to the fore. Every single day, there seems to be another scare tactic that seems to be at odds with settling the markets. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that we listen to the BBC up here. The contradictory messages are at odds with what the markets, especially the foreign exchange markets need to hear to ensure stability!
edited to add— Gideons latest proclamation being a classic example
Rant over !12 Feb 2014
Top of the list has to be cost effective and efficient transport infrastructure…
If UK businesses cant get to the export markets, in an efficient, and quick manner, someone else will…
The cost and time involved to travel to the export markers, needs t be reduced (not to mention the hassle factors)…12 Feb 2014
Spot on, If you don’t mind I will add five words to your comments above
“Fully integrated public transport system”
Enabling people to use public transport would surely alleviate congestion on the roads etc.12 Feb 2014
I would put level playing field as top of the list – though it will never happen.
The UK has a culture of trying to play by the rules. Apparently the UK fishing fleet is half the size of the Spanish fleet yet we have 10x the number of people monitoring!
Similarly one of my NED roles is with a company who had the bejeebers scared out of it by a HMRC investigation unit. With only 2 hours notice they arrived seeking info wrt export licences, controlled items, dual use etc Fortunately I found an excellent company to hold our hand through the very onerous voluntary disclosure process. We were clean, though scarred.
Similar export orientated companies on the continent do not appear treated as rigorously as UK HMRC treats UK ones.12 Feb 2014
Not wishing to politicise the debate but stop paying benefits and providing free healthcare to people who are not nationals. I don’t get free healthcare abroad. In places like S Africa you don’t get treated without a credit card.
Stop providing free translation services and language materials paid by the taxpayer. Provide in English only. Countries abroad don’t translate to English for my benefit.
Stop increasing the DIFID budget whilst cutting DTI budgets and focus on trade not aid.
Stop providing subsidised catering in the HoC etc. My employers don’t subsidise my lunch bill when I’m working in London.
Stop pandering to the needs of foreign train builders etc and create jobs at home. The French and Germans don’t put up with that nonsense, they buy their own regardless of what the bureaucrats say.
Renegotiate our relationship with Europe, why do we need a national one and a European one. Focus on a free trade area, not a federal model.
Divert some or all of the above to help promote trade by cutting APD, building trade missions etc etc.12 Feb 2014
This is a very intersting discussion and well done to Lugano Pirate for starting this!
Some very good points have already been made, ( not all of which I agree with), but there is a real lack of aviation policy and also the “national airline” hinders, not increases UK trade opportunities.
I have met UK embassy staff, Foreign Office and DTI staff, who are tell me there is huge interest from the business in many major and emerging markets in having direct links to London on British Airways, but that BA does not show any real interest. I have spoken to prime ministers, ministers and embassy staff of foreign missions in the UK who tell me that BA does not really listen.
I have met (UK & overseas) bankers, oil & gas executives, traders etc who want to travel to/from UK for meetings, investment etc who are fed up with having to change planes in Singapore, Dubai, Paris/Brussels, Amsterdam or Madrid, hardly an efficient use of time management.
Demand is there for links between nations which can really boost trade for UK PLC.
What was shocking was in the past year I met a person from BA “network development”, and his/her knowledge of geography was embarrassing and had clearly not really been given any real “training” as to BA’s network history and evolution.
Business people are busy people, they want to find new markets and new ways to make money, but they tend to go where there is less hassle to get there.12 Feb 2014
TBH I am quite sympathetic towards London Airways on this one.
Expanding the network always involves risk and costs. However the airline’s responsibility is towards its shareholders not the government, and I don’t see why BA is any more culpable than any other airline. If for example BA acquired additional kit and started up a route to say Bogota which didn’t make money, would the government step in to cover the costs? And which route would be dropped to free up slots? Hard choices clearly.
Maybe that isn’t very enterprising but the City works on hard numbers and prefers certainty to enterprise. In the same way that banks are reluctant to lend to SMEs because the only certain way not to lose money is to say no.
I fully agree about aviation policy though, the only certainty here is that we will continue to wade through treacle on airport capacity, whilst the govt (via APD) and airports like LHR (via charges) soak the traveller for as much as they can.
We don’t have a “national airline” any more, do we?12 Feb 2014
BA is a commercial company, fair enough, but it should pay the country a large franchise fee for using the term ‘British’, which gives it a huge commercial advantage.12 Feb 2014
Your national carrier point is interesting. As is BA’s attempt to portray itself as such, and reaping the benefits of being attached to brand UK PLC. But at the same time remaining independent or ,maybe autonomous might be a better word of the country that it represents.
BA’s perceived status as flag carrier has been cemented ever since the incident with Mrs T !
They have benefitted from pro BA/LHR government decisions on many more occasions than the other UK airlines have, so it might be time they changed their risk averse policy and adopted a policy of being proud to be British ! Something I fear they lost long ago !
And unfortunately, IMO there is a direct correlation between the success of a country’s national carrier and the economic success of the country it represents !
Alitalia = Italy
Emirates = Dubai
KLM = The Netherlands
Olympic & Iberia = ??????12 Feb 2014
Whereas IAG has wisely maintained the BA and IB brands for passenger traffic and are reporting accordingly, it appears from a Cargo perspective BA Cargo and IB Cargo are being subsumed under a new IAG Cargo brand.
So much for being a flag carrier wrt trade.
edit In 2001 British Petroleum rebranded itself BP12 Feb 2014
ArthurDimlock – don’t really buy that I’m afraid. OK the government gave it a great endowment with the term “British” when it was privatised, however it also saddled it with plenty of legacy costs that the shareholders have had to grin and bear,
Plus what is to stop other airlines using the term British? BMI dropped it but presumably anyone else could use it. Should American have to pay a fee for using the word?12 Feb 2014
right on the spot with your first post.
And all these statements are true for ost of European countries, espcially regarding the “pondering to the banks”…which dont creat wealth but create virtual profits -or losses- without ANY productivity.If the gambling failed, governments pay.12 Feb 2014