The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced the creation of four new trade and investment hubs which will channel the economic benefits of international trade directly into Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the North of England.
The trade hubs in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and a new site in Darlington, will be established as part of a new strategy to boost exports and bring the benefits of the government’s global trade policy to the whole of the UK.
This will also include the UK benefiting from future free trade agreements with the US, Australia, New Zealand and CPTPP.
Additionally, exporters will have a “direct feed” into the UK trade policy, and can better “take advantage of opportunities” in markets like the Indo-Pacific region.
Furthermore, 550 staff are expected to be present in the hubs by 2025, with the DIT aiming to increase this to 750 by 2030.
The trade hubs will also create a “critical link” between the regions and the resources of the Office For Investment, which is a joint initiative with the Prime Minister’s office to channel investment money into every UK nation and region.
The hubs will be home to teams of export and investment specialists, who can provide businesses with expert support and advice to help them “maximise their export potential” and boost their trade in new markets overseas.
The launch of the trade hubs marks the start of a major export drive, which will see the DIT focus on promoting British exports from all parts of the UK and support a “resilient economy” as outlined in the government’s Integrated Review.
The trade hubs will also support “high-profile export campaigns” which are due to launch later this year, that will seek to “maximise export potential” and boost UK enterprise in global markets. Last year, goods exports from the North of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland totalled £98.4bn.
Liz Truss, international trade secretary, said: “I’m determined to use UK trade policy to benefit every part of the UK. These Trade and Investment Hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery.
“They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters – whether they’re selling Scotch beef, Welsh Lamb or cars made in the North of England – have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest growing markets.”