Barclays has launched a new trade centre in Birmingham, which will be dedicated to helping UK businesses export more.
Staffed by 30 export and trade product specialists, the centre will provide export support to more than 1,000 firms across the Midlands.
Its goal is to “make it easier for UK businesses to find their way in overseas markets, by providing the right finance and all-important advice and guidance”, according to Jes Staley, Barclays’ group CEO.
Supporting firms in all sectors, the centre will focus particularly on export activity into India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, as well as Far Eastern markets such as China, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
The announcement follows the launch of the UK government’s new export strategy, which sets out its ambition to raise exports as a proportion of GDP from 30 to 35%.
It aims to reach this goal through a range of initiatives, such as promoting more peer-to-peer learning and creating an online tool for UK businesses to easily connect to overseas buyers, markets and other exporters. Many of the projects will be business-led, with the government intending to work closely with private sector players to drive exports.
In a statement, Barclays says the launch of its new trade centre is “a great example of the private sector support that the department of international trade (DIT) is promoting as part of its new export strategy”.
Staley adds that Barclays “is determined to play its part” in helping firms to become “superstar exporters”.
“New research we have commissioned on this important subject, published with the Policy Institute at King’s College London, shows that one important way to boost UK exports is to create more ‘superstar exporters’, or UK firms who export 10 or more products to 10 or more overseas markets. Helping these businesses to export more in turn helps smaller firms in their supply chain to grow, and to create jobs,” he says.