The Department for Business and Trade will significantly expand the support on offer to Welsh businesses after it announced that new International Trade Advisors are to be hired.
Once in place, the new Advisors will be responsible for providing tailored, one-to-one guidance and support to Welsh businesses to help them start or expand their exporting journey.
It builds upon the existing support already in place with the DBT Wales team that has been in place since 2021, and from other providers. This should see a further 400-600 companies in Wales receive help.
Exports Minister Lord Offord today launched an engagement exercise on the structure of the ITA support, with SMEs across Wales encouraged to have their views heard on how more companies might be encouraged to export using such support.
Minister for Exports Lord Malcolm Offord said:
“This is a significant investment by the UK Government to provide further support to businesses across Wales.
“Working closely with other stakeholders, this should significantly increase the capacity of our team to provide tailored advice to businesses in Wales.
“We know what a huge difference accessing international markets can make to a business, and we’re keen to do all we can to ensure as many Welsh companies as possible take advantage of these opportunities that are out there.”
The Department will work closely with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders on the introduction of these new roles to ensure that they will complement existing support.
Once the views of stakeholders have been gathered the roles are expected to be advertised in the following months.
Commenting on announcement, Ben Cottam, Head of Wales at the Federation of Small Businesses stated:
“We very much welcome the consultation with business on the opportunities of reinforcing and growing trade support for smaller businesses in Wales.
“The development of trade and export activity among smaller businesses is vital to the growth and health of the Welsh economy.
“This is therefore an important opportunity for businesses to engage with the UK Government so we can better understand the requirements of businesses, promote opportunity, and boost the number of SMEs growing through trade and we look forward to playing our own part in this engagement.”
The introduction of International Trade Advisors is a significant step in supporting the Department’s goal to reach £1 trillion worth of exports annually by 2030. Boosting the number of exporters in Wales will be crucial in reaching this target, with survey responses showing there were around 8,400 Welsh companies exporting goods or services in 2021.
The new ITAs will sit alongside other UK Government support services such as the UK Export Academy which offers free training to businesses on selling abroad, and UK Export Finance who can provide attractive financing terms and working capital loans to companies.
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said:
“I’m delighted to see the UK Government providing more support for businesses in Wales.
“Exporting goods or services can be a vital step in growing a business, and these new advisors will be able to offer crucial guidance to many more Welsh firms making that journey.
“When businesses grow they can employ more people, helping drive prosperity for everyone.”
Research into the benefits of exporting have shown it to be essential in helping businesses to grow, with those that do trade abroad often having increased productivity and offering higher wages to their staff.