Department for International Trade
UKEF services help hundreds of businesses every year
Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead, recently (02 November 2018) wrote for The Times Red Box on how UKEF backs British business and supports UK exports.
Under this government, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has been transformed into a responsive, competitive and effective supporter of UK exports. The government’s Export Strategy, published over the summer, puts UKEF at the heart of our offer to help British businesses succeed overseas.
And already there is growing recognition of UKEF and its world-class support for exporters; the CBI said in its Winning Worldwide report that “UKEFservices have provided a vital complement to the private finance sector to help hundreds of SMEs” on their exporting journey.
Only last week, the British Exporters’ Association awarded UKEF the highest rating of any European export credit agency for the fifth year in a row, recognising UKEF’s commitment to strengthening its product range and developing new ways to reach out to exporters and their suppliers across the UK.
As Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, I am very proud of the work of UKEF. In 2017/18, UKEF provided £2.5 billion worth of support to help nearly 200 companies sell to 75 markets around the world. In turn, this is supporting thousands of skilled jobs and contributing billions to the UK economy, as well as improving infrastructure and growing industry abroad.
Projects like Offshore Cape Three Points, a transformational natural gas field in Ghana, which, with UKEF support worth US$400 million, is helping the Government of Ghana reduce its dependence on oil and meet its COP 21 commitments for climate mitigation.
Or UKEF’s US$35 million loan to support Biwater’s contract to deliver much-needed water treatment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Or JDR Cables’ contract to supply subsea power cables to Danish company Dong Energy’s offshore windfarms, providing non-carbon energy to the UK.
UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector. Its role is to provide support where the private sector can’t, and so it is therefore demand-led.
I was therefore pleased to see earlier this week that the Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade is also taking note of its work. However, he expresses concerns about government support for companies exporting in the fossil fuels sector.
Supporting the UK’s renewables sector is of the utmost priority for the whole of the UK government; we have world-leading suppliers in this sector, and want to do all we can to help them achieve international success. DIT has provided trade promotion support for renewables sector exports worth hundreds of millions, for example through tradeshows and sourcing procurement opportunities.
We welcome the opportunity to provide UKEF support to renewables sector exports – and in the last 2 years, have supported £310 million worth of contracts. However, there is significant liquidity in the private sector finance market for investment in renewables projects. Our aim is only to provide support where there is a lack of private sector finance, and the sector’s export success – £500 million last year – shows that other sources are available.
On the other hand, the UK’s oil and gas sector has suffered in recent years due to the long-term depression in oil prices and huge scale of financing needed to develop these projects. According to Oil and Gas UK, the sector supports more than 302,000 jobs – a decline of 160,000 since 2014. It is also vital to the UK’s energy security. This sector needs support.
UKEF has also made clear its commitment to high standards of environmental, social and human rights risk management – rigorously following the OECD Common Approaches, which sets the framework for export credit agencies in ensuring these risks are mitigated.
In fact, UKEF is a member of the Equator Principles Steering Group, seeking multilateral progress on the environment and human rights for lending and large projects while maintaining a level playing field for UK businesses to compete internationally.
UKEF’s role is to back UK businesses, of all sizes and in all sectors, stepping in where required and ensuring that the right support is in place to help them compete in a global marketplace and realise the benefits of international success. From this government’s perspective, UKEF is doing this better than ever.
Latest News from
Department for International Trade
UK and New Zealand to continue Mutual Recognition Agreement as PM Jacinda Ardern visits UK22/01/2019 14:43:00
The International Trade Secretary has signed an arrangement which will help boost trade between the UK and New Zealand.
UK and Australia agree continuity of Mutual Recognition Agreement18/01/2019 16:25:00
The International Trade Secretary has today signed an arrangement which will help boost British trade with Australia.
Trade Remedies Authority on track to protect UK industry18/01/2019 13:10:00
The UK's new independent Trade Remedies Authority is on track to protect UK businesses after the UK leaves the EU.
New podcast series to explore why exporting is GREAT for business14/01/2019 16:43:00
Launched by the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, the 6 part series will showcase the stories of some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs and businesses.
ONS trade statistics: Exports rise by £14 billion14/01/2019 11:20:00
New figures show continued export growth, totalling £630 billion in the year to November 2018.
Trade wins for Hamleys, Norton motorcycles and British farmers as Prime Minister Abe visits London11/01/2019 16:10:00
A series of new deals for British and Japanese companies, worth over £200 million were announced yesterday, during a visit by the Japanese Prime Minister.
International Trade Minister joins Stoke ceramics firm to keep Great British industry firing11/01/2019 11:20:00
Earlier this week, The Trade Policy Minister hosted a roundtable in Stoke for ceramics firms to discuss the industry's trade priorities ahead of the UK's departure from the EU
UK brings largest ever delegation to world's biggest trade show09/01/2019 09:10:00
Over 100 British companies are showcasing UK innovation in the technology and automotive sectors at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US.