A review of the UK’s export industry has called for cabinet-level political leadership to boost firms’ access to foreign markets.
The proposals suggested in the Cole Commission published today also include a public procurement strategy to encourage firms that sell to the government to help small and medium-sized UK firms start up their export operations.
“Our recommendations are about culture, structure and mindset,” said Graham Cole, chair of the commission.
“Leadership has to come from the top and whilst we are pleased to see steps have already been taken to deliver cabinet level political accountability, we are also clear that business must also have a seat at the top table to drive through these changes.”
The review was commissioned by Labour to suggest policies that would boost trade and tackle the UK’s trade deficit – the amount it imports over what it exports.
“The economy is on a solid and sustainable footing, but the missing link remains a meaningful boost to our export performance,” said Simon Moore from Confederation of British Industry.
“As it builds on the support offered to exporters in the last Parliament, we hope the new Government looks carefully at the thoughtful recommendations of the Cole Commission.”