The Engineering and Machinery Alliance has given oral evidence to the House of Commons’ international trade committee for its inquiry into UK Export Finance, the trade credit agency based in HM Treasury which exists to support exporters.
EAMA secretary Jack Semple told the committee that it was important for UKEF to have a sustained promotion campaign, so that more companies were aware of what it can to support their export strategy. Firms should make direct with contact with UKEF’s regionally-based export finance managers, he said.
UKEF was making headway in dealing with SMEs and working with banks but there remains room for improvement, he said. UKEF had the opportunity to champion and to help lead ‘green’ exports, but was concerned that the UK was dropping its support for all fossil fuel, oil and gas exports to rapidly, given that the UK economy will itself depend on these resources, and the skills to support the industry, for some time. He noted that UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable export opportunity fails through lack of finance. He looked forward to details of the recently-announced Transformation Export Development Guarantee scheme, that the government says will support firms to transition out of oil and gas and into cleaner sector.
UKEF and the Department for International Trade can work effectively together and he stressed the importance of working also in partnership with trade associations, such as those in EAMA, that have excellent understanding of their sectors. He highlighted that the importance of working with trade associations was highlighted in the 2018 Export Strategy.
Details of the evidence session, and a recording, are available here: Parliamentlive.tv - International Trade Committee.
Meanwhile, last week EAMA and jointly hosted a webinar on UKEF’s newly-launched General Export Facility. UKEF has now uploaded the webinar onto Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0WcLBaJR_w
We would welcome any feedback from members on their experience – positive or negative – with UK Export Finance, or, indeed, other export issues. These will, as always, be treated in confidence but will help inform our communication with government and support for UK exporting.