UK exports will miss their target as firms struggle

Kate McCann
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THE GOVERNMENT will miss its target to double the value of UK exports by 2020, the Public Accounts Committee has warned.

In a report out today, chair of the committee Margaret Hodge said that the UK is not performing as well as its European rivals and that tough Home Office visa systems are deterring foreign business investors. “UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) needs to be a more effective source of intelligence on new opportunities in overseas markets,” Hodge said. “It needs to get better at helping SMEs export more by supporting them in overcoming the barriers they face.” In 2012 George Osborne set a target to double UK exports to £1 trillion a year by 2020, yet despite spending £420 million promoting exports last year, the committee is warning that the government will miss its target. A spokesman from the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills said: "We make no apology for setting a stretching target and we are working hard to achieve this.”

Hodge also criticised the way government agencies work together, recommending that a clear plan should be put in place to promote UK exports around the world.