Helping businesses to start exporting

The issue:

In the UK, around 1 in 5 UK SMEs export. Across Europe, the average is 1 in 4. If the UK got the number of small and medium sized exporters up to 1 in 4 – in line with the European average, this would add approximately £40bn to total UK exports and a massive boost to our economy. Alok is keen to support local businesses to help boost their exports.

Achievements to date:

  • Together with Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury, Alok organised an exports seminar for local companies interested in learning more about boosting their exports. The event was held on 29th June 2012 at the Madejski Stadium and was attended by over 70 companies. Speakers included Lord Green, the Minister responsible for Trade and Investment as well as representatives from Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, UK Trade and Investment and the Institute of Directors.
  • Alok organised an exports case study seminar together with Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The event took place on 25th September 2012 showcasing the experience of two Reading businesses (eShare and Moo Free Chocolates), which as well as trading in the UK also export their products to other world markets.
  • Alok has often spoken in Parliament about the need to boost UK exports, particularly to developing markets such as India and China. Speaking during the 2013 Budget debate, Alok called on UK Trade and Investment to open sector-focused hubs in cities within the high growth economies, where British SMEs could be based.
  • Alok joined Prime Minister David Cameron, as he led trade delegation to India on a three day visit between 18 – 20 February 2013 which covered Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar. This was the biggest ever trade mission, led by any British Prime Minister in modern times, and fittingly underlined the UK government’s commitment to increasing trade with India, which is predicted to grow into one of the world’s three largest economies over the next 35 years.
  • Alok gave a keynote speech at an Afro Business Exposition held at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre. The three-day event, which was organised by local company Motherland Connects aimed to help local companies to invest in Africa, as well as attract African businesses to Reading and the Thames Valley.

Next steps:

  • Alok will continue to push ministers for more to be done to help UK businesses to export and to hold local seminars to provide advice for small local businesses interested in exporting.

Alok says:

“Some of the biggest opportunities for the UK are in markets like India and China, which in recent years have seen their economies grow at a consistently high rate, despite the global economic slowdown. Starting to export to these countries can initially be a daunting prospect for a small or medium sized business but with the right guidance exporting can prove to be very rewarding for a business.”