Government and industry partnership to boost construction exports

Greg Hands

The Department for International Trade will join with 17 of the UK’s leading firms from the infrastructure industry in a new partnership to help UK companies secure major international contracts.

Infrastructure Exports: UK (IE:UK) will bring together companies of all sizes to bid for global infrastructure contracts as a single ‘Team UK’ consortia, to deliver complex projects by combining their expertise.

Launched today, the new body will be co-chaired by International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, and James Wates CBE, Chairman of the Wates Group. It aims to make the UK more competitive on the global stage and bring smaller companies into the infrastructure export supply chain.

International Trade Minister Greg Hands said: “Global infrastructure investment is set to increase rapidly in the coming years and we must make sure UK firms are in prime position to take advantage of it. Our ‘Team UK’ approach will bring together leading UK infrastructure companies to showcase their expertise on a global scale and work together to successfully bid for the biggest contracts.”

Companies from across the UK, including Midlands-based Carillion, Mace Group, and Northern Ireland’s Lagan Construction will make up IE:UK, representing around 200,000 employees from across the UK. Members have experience of working on large scale projects such as Crossrail, the Dubai World Expo 2020 and ITER Fusion Reactor in France.

By 2030, global annual construction investment alone is expected to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion, almost the size of the US economy, and with research showing that large infrastructure projects award bigger contracts to consortia, this will increase the competitiveness and income of UK companies.

IE:UK will meet 3 times a year to choose which projects they, as business, wish to pursue with government support. The body will select the UK businesses with the right expertise to group together and create winning bids.