Supporting Trade and Investment in 2012


The Government understands the importance of trade and investment to delivering long-term growth and prosperity in the UK and around the world. The Government’s strategy on trade and investment was detailed in the White Paper, “Trade and Investment for Growth”, which was published in February 2011.

The White Paper identified three key goals:

  • help UK business trade and invest more and in new markets
  • attract investment to the UK
  • strengthen the multilateral trading system, including helping developing countries benefit from trade and investment.


It has been just over a year since the Government launched the White Paper. Led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and working closely with UK Trade and Investment and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the White Paper advocated a whole of government approach to trade and UK growth.

The Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, has recorded a short message to acknowledge some of the achievements and challenges of the first year of implementation

Lord Green also said:

“We’re now one year on from the launch of the White Paper. I am pleased to report that we have laid much of the necessary groundwork and made some real progress. However, we are taking a long term approach and our strategy cannot be secured in just one year; this is a marathon, not a sprint."

“Trade and investment are absolutely fundamental to rebuilding and rebalancing our economy. The UK has a strong history as a trading and investing nation and continues to be one of the world’s most attractive places to do business, but the world is changing and we cannot be complacent."

“Encouraging businesses to export more is at the very heart of our approach. We need to ensure business, especially our small businesses, have all the tools they need to flourish, that we strengthen and improve our relationship with trade partners around the world, that we fight protectionism and ensure poor countries can benefit fully from free and fair trade.”

Further details can be found in the paper "Progress and Achievements in year one"


In supporting trade and investment in 2012, the Government will prioritise five key areas of activity:

1)  Roll-out of the SME exporting campaign, to double outreach to companies to 50,000 per year by 2015 over the next few years.

This will see conferences in every region of the country; active engagement with support networks; targeted support of SMEs at trade fairs and on trade missions; and e-networking of SMEs to support mentoring and experience-sharing.

2)  Marketing high value opportunities in fast growing markets

This will involve an ambitious programme of conferences and other country-specific activities, along with trade missions for key sector providers, including SMEs.

3)  Showcasing inward investment opportunities, especially in key economic infrastructure developments and building on our world-class science base

This will include more proactive identification of major overseas investors; special programmes for strategically important countries; and a major and sustained client marketing progress.

4)  Working to ensure a supportive financing environment for exporting and investment

This means close engagement with banks on trade finance; expanding UK Export Finance marketing efforts; and active marketing of international venture capital providers and angel investors.

5)  Seizing the one-in-a-lifetime potential of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics through a major international business programme aimed at boosting British exports and attracting inward investment

Over the coming months they will also:

  • Support the EU to conclude Free Trade Agreements with India, Singapore and Canada; and open negotiations with Japan
  • Agree more elements of Doha; and
  • Find ways to press forward the international trade agenda with like-minded countries.

The Government’s commitment to open trade and investment is ambitious and long-term. It has already secured some key achievements. Their focus now is to build on this, and ensure the UK’s future prosperity

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