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November 16, 2012

Eight new trade envoys promise to put the UK on the map

Prime minister David Cameron has announced the appointment of eight new trade envoys as part of the Government's ambitious strategy to help double UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

The announcement came during Export Week. Cameron also unveiled a new £8 million pilot project to strengthen the capacity of overseas business groups, such as chambers of commerce, in 20 key countries.

The trade envoys and their territories are:

  • Baroness Bonham Carter of Yarnbury (Mexico)
  • Baroness Morris of Bolton (Jordan, Kuwait, Palestinian Territories)
  • Lord Puttnam of Queensgate (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia)
  • Lord Risby of Haverhill (Algeria)
  • Baroness Scotland of Asthal (South Africa)
  • Lord Sharman of Redlynch (Morocco)
  • Charles Hendry MP (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan)
  • Richard Graham MP (Indonesia)

Trade and investment minister, Lord Green, said: "For the long-term health of the economy, we need to go where the growth is and look to export outside the EU. That's why we need to build up links with fast-growing emerging economies. Business groups can play an invaluable role in helping British companies establish themselves in overseas markets."

The overseas pilot project is intended to transform the way the UK delivers trade support to UK business overseas and put the UK on more of a competitive footing with countries like Germany, the US and France, all of whom have strong overseas chambers capable of supporting domestic businesses in overseas markets.

The plan is that business groups, such as chambers, that are based in fast-growing markets will become a stronger resource for UK businesses, alongside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UKTI.

Also this week, there were signs of an improved trade performance as figures showed the UK's trade gap with the rest of the world narrowed sharply from £4.3bn to £2.7bn in September.