To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps UK Trade & Investment has taken to increase the number of businesses exporting to the Commonwealth; and if he will make a statement.
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is represented in 22 Commonwealth countries; these include high growth markets such as India, Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia, and others such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, where we already have significant and well established trading relations. In other Commonwealth countries, Heads of Mission and the FCO's Prosperity Teams provide on the ground support to help develop trading links to the UK.
UKTI offers a broad range of support to help increase exports to these markets, including advice from International Trade Advisers in the English regions; bespoke advisory services from UKTI teams in British High Commissions; support for small and medium-sized companies to attend trade fairs; and high level support on winning business in high value opportunities in these markets. An important element of this support includes trade missions and other overseas visits, and since May 2013 visits by Ministers to Commonwealth markets have included high level visits to India, Canada, Malaysia, Tanzania, Australia, South Africa and Singapore.
This year UKTI will also be hosting a range of business activities in conjunction with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
UKTI publishes business opportunities in overseas markets—including the Commonwealth nations—on its website:
UKTI website users can set up alerts so that they are notified when opportunities are published in countries and sectors of interest to them.