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.
UKEF’s annual report and accounts for 2016/17 show that it provided £3 billion of support – a 60% increase on 2015/16 – for exports to 63 countries, with 79% of the UK exporters benefiting from this support small and medium-sized enterprises. UKEF also lent a record £305 million directly to infrastructure and energy projects.
Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister for International Trade, commented: “This government is putting export finance at the heart of trade promotion, and the results show that the UK’s world-leading exporters are supported by a world-leading export credit agency as they look to succeed in a global marketplace. And UKEF’s new Business Plan is a clear statement of intent: Britain is open for business, and we want to help even more companies realise the world of opportunity out there.”
Geoffrey de Mowbray, Chairman of the British Exporters’ Association, welcomed the new Business Plan for 2017-20, saying: “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.”
The plan identifies a number of concrete measures that will help more UK exporters and their suppliers benefit from UKEF support, including a partnership with banks to deliver support directly to their trading customers announced last week. It also sets out plans to create procurement opportunities for smaller companies in the supply chain, incentivising overseas buyers to look to the UK to source goods and services.
Other business highlights in 2016/17 included:
- UKEF connected over 350 companies with the lead UK contractors for infrastructure projects seeking to increase UK supplies due to UKEF’s backing
- UKEF reintroduced cover after a 20 year hiatus to support UK companies seeking to compete for business in Argentina, with £1 billion made available
- UKEF directly helped 221 companies make their exports happen this year, 79% of which were small and medium-sized enterprises