On 28 October 2020, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published a report concluding that the Department for International Trade (DIT) has not demonstrated measurable progress in tackling the big strategic challenges it faces, both in supporting economic recovery or advancing the UK’s future trading relationships. The Department for International Trade was formed to deliver the UK’s independent trade policy following the UK’s Brexit decision.
The report concludes that:
- DIT and UK Export Finance (UKEF) have not done enough to identify and help new developing businesses to export.
- Lack of strategic alignment between DIT and UK Export Finance means that export opportunities have been missed.
- DIT and UKEF have not developed sufficient understanding of the challenges smaller businesses face in exporting, such as applying for finance, and are not delivering the necessary support for SME’s to grow.
- Out of an estimated 5.9million UK businesses, DIT targets its bespoke support at just 230,000 potential exporters, which has been almost static for the last 10 years.
- UKEF directly supported only 199 businesses in 2019. This meant it failed to meet its own target of 500.
More information can be found here.