In a landmark deal, five of the UK’s major high street banks have promised to work with the new-look Department for International Trade to provide better access to UK exports.
Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Natwest and Santander have pledged to support the government’s new Directory of Exporters – an initiative to link UK exporters with a global database of potential business partners.
Clients and buyers from global markets will be able to search for and contact companies from across the UK supplying the products, services and skills they demand.
The directory is heralded as a great opportunity for the country’s smaller firms. As part of the government’s new global digital service for businesses, the directory is being promoted as an important first step in making the UK the easiest place in the world from which to begin exporting.
Commenting on the deal, newly-appointed secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox, said that the directory offered a unique new route to global markets for small firms that currently aren’t able to sell overseas.
“With this kind of creativity and collaborative working between government and industry, I’m confident that we can make the whole of the UK a beacon for open trade around the world,” added Fox.
From July 2016, small business owners can register on the directory and begin to promote themselves globally. Business customers of the five participating lenders will be encouraged to join.
Fox went on to say: “We want to help UK businesses scale up and take advantage of the global appetite for British goods and services, as well as to demonstrate that there has never been a better time for international companies to partner with UK suppliers.”
The agreement will also see the banks work more closely with government to track Britain’s export progress, providing quarterly export data of business clients.
Welcoming the agreement, international trade minister Lord Price said: “The directory will create a truly modern trading relationship between UK businesses and the rest of the world, providing a real boost to our exports.”
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