UK Trade Priorities in 2023 and Beyond: Opportunities to Accelerate Trade Growth

The Integrated Review published in March last year emphasised that trade stands ‘at the heart of Global Britain’ and with UK trade, in value terms, growing steadily since May 2020, it is clear that trade is, and will continue to become, an increasingly important part of the UK’s foreign policy arsenal. The current weakness of Sterling, while putting pressure on import costs, provides an opportunity to promote exports but challenges – from supply
chain disruption to the impact of sanctions – are real and there is no place for complacency.

This report authored by Dr Rebecca Harding, BFPG Senior Research Fellow, with contributions from David Lansdman, BFPG Senior Advisor, looks to address how the UK can accelerate export growth without significant additional expenditure at a time when it plays an increasingly important role in UK foreign policy.

The paper makes four key recommendations:

– The updating of the Integrated Review should explicitly recognise the contribution of trade to national security.

– The government should renew its focus on trade digitisation and efforts to reform the law to enable digital transactions.

– The government deepens the Ecosystem of Trust pilots to enable trade to be conducted through them.

– The government provides immediate practical support to exporters by providing easy to access information on sanctions, export controls, and regulations and tariffs associated with international trade.



Dr. Rebecca Harding