BExA response to DIT policy paper – Preparing for our future UK trade policy

To download a copy of the response, please click here.


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UK Government ramps up support for SME trade

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced that small businesses can now access government-backed export finance directly from their banks, boosting UK trade.

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, will on Monday 16 October launch a new partnership with 5 major high street banks allowing smaller businesses to access millions of pounds in government-backed trade finance directly from their bank in seconds.

UKEF, as part of the Department for International Trade, provides financial support to help UK companies sell to international customers. This new partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander, announced by Liam Fox in July, comes as the Board of Trade met for the first time last week (12 October).

For the first time companies which supply exporters will also now be able to access UKEF-backed finance, helping them become part of major export contracts and spreading the benefits of trade to SMEs across the UK.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, said:

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and giving them the support they need to seize international trading opportunities is a priority for the Department for International Trade as an international economic department. That’s why we’re partnering with the five major high street banks to make government-backed finance from UK Export Finance readily available, in a matter of seconds, opening up new global contracts to businesses across the UK.”

UKEF provides guarantees to banks to help businesses access bank finance, even where they’ve reached their credit limit or where the deal is considered too risky for the banks to take on alone – opening up emerging global markets to UK suppliers.

With this new partnership for finance up to £2 million, SMEs will be able to access UKEF support directly from their bank quickly and efficiently, without the need to apply separately. Provided a transaction meets UKEF’s criteria, the bank will just notify UKEF through a new secure digital platform. This will mean that, where previously it could take weeks in addition to the banks’ own turnaround times to access this support, it will now take a matter of seconds where the transaction is eligible.

As a result, the UK’s SMEs can quickly and easily access the funds they need to increase their exports, grow their revenue and sell British products around the world just by speaking to their bank manager.

At the same time, companies that aren’t yet selling overseas but are supplying products directly to those who are will also now qualify for UKEF support. Supplying to an exporter is a great way for smaller companies to get products into new markets, and government-backed finance can help secure contracts with big UK exporters to benefit from worldwide demand for UK goods and services.

Businesses interested can find out more by speaking to their bank.

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GTR-BExA Young Exporter of the Year Award 2017

Congratulations to Alastair White, Deputy Chairman of Biwater International Ltd, on being named GTR-BExA Young Exporter of the Year 2017.  BExA Co-Chairmen, Geoffrey de Mowbray and Marcus Dolman, presented Alastair with his award at the BExA Annual Lunch held at Mansion House on 10th October. Alastair was commended for his leading role in Biwater’s international growth and development over the past decade, and notably for his part in securing the $1.2 billion Erbil and Sulaimani Water and Wastewater project.

In 2016, Alastair made history, sitting alongside UK Export Finance, to sign a landmark loan with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the Development Works Phase of Erbil and Sulaimani Water and Wastewater Project. The loan was the first use by KRG of the ‘Law To Raise Funds Through Borrowing by The Kurdistan Region, number (7) of 2015’.

Runner-up of the Young Exporter Award this year was Jack Holmes, commended by judges for the passion and enthusiasm he demonstrated in his business development role at Winch Energy Ltd, a company providing renewable energy solutions and Wi-Fi services for off-grid rural populations in Africa.

L-R - Alastair White (Biwater), Geoff de Mowbray and Marcus Dolman (BExA Co-Chairmen) and Jack Holmes (Winch Energy)

(L-R ) Alastair White (Biwater), Geoff de Mowbray and Marcus Dolman (BExA Co-Chairmen) and Jack Holmes (Winch Energy)

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BExA launches 8th Annual Benchmarking of UK Export Finance

BExA launches today its 8th Annual Benchmarking of UK Export Finance entitled “Export is not the new black”.

View press release.
Download the full paper.


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BExA welcomes launch of UKEF’s plan to scale up support as 2016/17 results show £3 billion in finance for exports

UK Export Finance has published its 2016/17 results, showing a 60% increase in finance provided for exports, and its Business Plan for 2017-20, setting out plans for an increase in support.

Geoffrey de Mowbray, Chairman of the British Exporters’ Association, welcomed the new Business Plan for 2017-20, saying:  “The British Exporters Association (BExA) has worked with UKEF in recent years to improve its product range, as evidenced by their impressive 9 out of 10 score from our annual benchmarking report. UK Export Finance is now, rightly, considered one of the world’s leading export credit agencies and its support has helped hundreds of companies succeed abroad. We at BExA welcome this ambitious plan and look forward to continued partnership as UKEF works to realise it for the benefit of the UK’s exporting community, particularly SMEs.”

For more details please click here.


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BExA member wins World ECR Export Controls Consultant of the Year Award

Congratulation to long-standing and active BExA member, Strong & Herd LLP, who have received the prestigious accolade of being voted the Export Controls Consultant of the Year in the 2017 World ECR Awards.

Previous winners of this award include the Center for Information on Security Trade Controls (CISTEC) a Tokyo based organisation and SECURUS Strategic Trade Solutions that concentrated on export compliance within the Middle East.  The runner up for the 2017 Award was BPE Global a women-owned, women-operated San Francisco, California-based global trade consultancy,

 “It was enough to be nominated by our clients for this award,” said Sandra Strong the Managing Partner who originally set up the business in 1995 with Brian Herd, “and really exciting when we learnt we had made it on to the World ECR shortlist so to win is just amazing.  I’m really proud of all the team at Strong & Herd who work very hard to ensure that we put our clients first with a friendly, reliable service they can trust.”

When Strong & Herd LLP started 22 years ago they were determined to work in partnership with their clients – and focus on their goals above all else. “Simply put, our measure of success is maximising our clients’ commercial outcomes. Compliance is often seen as an administrative chore but it is a vital link in the international trade world and needs to be given due time and attention but we have to ensure that it is treated sensibly so that it doesn’t become a crippling burden on businesses. It’s my steadfast belief that we won this award because we do things differently, offering on-demand, flexible and focused services.”

This approach clearly allows them to walk with their heads held high among the giants of this world.  You just need to look at the other businesses among the World ECR 2017 winners and runners up – Clifford Chance, Akin Gump, HFW (Holman Fenwick Willan as was), Baker McKenzie, Clyde & Co, and in-company compliance teams at Celestica and Meggitt Europe, as well as individuals such as Kevin Wolf who worked tirelessly with the US BIS to advance the US Export Control Reform  – to appreciate how impressive and inspiring it is to see a small UK training and consultancy business, located near Manchester Airport, punching above its weight globally and providing positive benefits for companies in the UK, Europe and beyond.

So what does this mean to Strong & Herd? The final word goes to Sandra: “It’s a tremendous boost for the whole team to be acknowledged by your peers in this way but we’ll just carry on as normal.  We have been able to champion companies big and small and produce some incredible outcomes for our clients this year and we look forward to doing so for many years to come. So, to our clients (old and new) thank you for letting us help you!”


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New service launched by Trade Minister to help UK construction companies secure billions in new contracts abroad.

Trade Minister Greg Hands yesterday launched Infrastructure Exports: UK, a collaboration between Government and Industry to win exports from large overseas infrastructure projects. BExA Co Chairman, Marcus Dolman, attended the event and commented “We welcome this new initiative, it has the potential to provide all sizes of UK business with exciting new opportunities to increase exports. With UKEF financing support available for these projects it gives the large exporter the opportunity to lead a UK supply chain to maximise the amount of funding available, whilst for the SMEs it provides an opportunity to be a part of a larger UK supply chain, facilitating increased exports at reduced risk.”

Whilst BExA is supportive of this new initiative we would expect there to be a major part for the Department for International Development to play in identifying and supporting infrastructure initiatives in developing nations. We look forward to their increased involvement as the initiative develops.

Further information about the initiative can be found at


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BExA Vice-President awarded MBE

The British Exporters Association (BExA) is delighted to announce that Ms Susan Ross has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Susan has been a passionate volunteer member of BExA for over a decade, including a 3 year period as Chairman from 2009 to 2012.  During that time, Susan campaigned tirelessly for the re-launch of the UK Export Finance (UKEF) Bond Support scheme to the benefit of the hundreds of companies who have since used the product to win overseas business. Since its reintroduction in 2011, the UKEF Bond Support Scheme has been utilised by over 220 UK companies and supported almost £850m of UK exports.

Susan also devised the much heralded annual BExA ECA benchmarking papers as a means to drive improvement in UKEF and has had a significant involvement in the preparation and editing of each one of the 7 reports that have been published to date.  In addition, she introduced and authored the well regarded series of BExA Guides, which provide exporters with concise instruction on various export related subjects.   These have proved to be an invaluable resource for BExA’s members and the wider exporting community alike.

Susan continues to be a highly pro-active and well respected member of the Association in her current role of honorary Vice-President, whilst maintaining a full-time senior position at Aon within its Trade Credit business.



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BExA appoints new President

The British Exporters Association (BExA) is delighted to announce that The Rt Hon Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, PC, has been appointed as the Association’s new President.

Commenting on the appointment, Marcus Dolman, BExA Co-Chairman – Large Corporates, said “We are very pleased with the appointment of Baroness Symons as our new President. She has a long and distinguished career in trade and we look forward to working with her to strengthen BExA’s position as the leading voice of the UK’s export community.”  Geoffrey de Mowbray, BExA Co-Chairman – SME & Micro-Exporters, added “Exporters, and in particular SME exporters, are more than ever vital to the UK economy.  Baroness Symons joining BExA as President is an exciting stage of our development and we look forward to working with her and driving some real and sustainable change.”

Baroness Symons is a senior Labour member of the House of Lords, a former Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, and held ministerial posts in the UK Government from 1997 until stepping down in 2005. Her time in government was as Minister for the Middle East, Minister for International Trade, Minister for Defence Procurement, and the Prime Minister’s envoy to the Gulf.

Baroness Symons has a wide range of experience, in the Middle East in particular, and is Chairman of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce,  co-Chairman of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, Chairman of the British Egyptian Society and she sits on the Advisory Boards of the Egyptian-British Business Council, British Expertise and the ‘D’ Group.  She is also a senior consultant to DLA Piper LLP, Blenheim Capital, Protection Group International, and Consolidated Contractors Company.

The Baroness succeeds Sir Richard Needham, The Rt Hon Earl of Kilmorey, PC, who has stepped down as the Association’s President after nearly 20 years in the role.  BExA would like to thank Sir Richard for his support during this time which has been very much appreciated. His knowledge and understanding of global trade has been a great asset to the association over this period not to mention his speeches!


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 Going Global Live is Europe’s premier event for businesses that are looking to take the next step and expand internationally, export products, increase their overseas presence or enter new international marketplaces – and 2017 sees a line-up of outstanding international experts on hand for face-to-face advice and insight. Going Global are delighted to partner with The British Exporters Association for the event on the 17th and 18th of May at the London ExCeL.

A snapshot of the speaker line-up includes Geoffrey de Mowbray, Co-Chairman of the British Exporters Association with a seminar entitled ‘British Exporting – The Opportunities and Challenges’, Lesley Batchelor OBE from the Institute of Export & International Trade with a seminar entitled ‘Drastic Rise from 90M Cargoes a Year to 300M on Leaving EU’, Mark Neal of Export World Wide Ltd discussing how to generate export sales leads and the key to profitable exporting, and Roger Jones from Actionable Insight Digital Marketing Limited discussing how to have success in online exporting.

Register for your free ticket to attend via and for sponsorship & exhibiting opportunities contact Event Director Simon Chicken directly on (+44) 0117 907 3520 or at

We look forward to welcoming you to the show!


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