Liam Fox announces ‘gamechanger’ financial support package for UK SME exporters

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A new financial support package for small to medium sized business (SMEs) will be announced as Dr Fox speaks at a celebration of 100 years of UK Export Finance’s (UKEF) backing for international trade today (Wednesday 5 June).

This is the first time such an extensive financing package has been made available to small businesses exporting to fast-growing emerging markets from the UK.

The package will include:

  • The Small Deal Initiative – to back the army of exporters undertaking the smaller contracts that underpin British trade
  • Extending financial support to firms in exporters’ supply chains as well as exporters themselves
  • The General Export Facility – covers general costs for exporters, rather than just costs related to a specific export deal

The Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox will say:

These announcements are potential gamechangers for our export industry, and will help us to tap a fresh vein of potential from within our economy.

The Small Deals Initiative sees UKEF guaranteeing the loans of potential overseas buyers of British goods to make UK bids more competitive.

The General Export Facility also allows UKEF to support exporters’ overall working capital requirements, rather than requiring support to be linked to the needs of a specific export.

Commenting on this, the Secretary of State will say:

Recognising that it takes more than one business to deliver an export contract, UKEF has extended eligibility for its support to companies in exporters’ supply chains.

British businesses play an import role in global supply chains. The latest available data shows that nearly a quarter (23.7%) of UK exports in 2015 were embedded in the exports of other countries.

This more flexible approach will give smaller business greater access to bonds and working capital.

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