Responding to news of potential job cuts at the Department for International Trade, Maritime UK Chairman, David Dingle CBE said:
“This is deeply worrying news.
“At a time when the UK is preparing to leave the European Union and then position itself as an outward-looking, global trading maritime nation, we need maximum government support to encourage UK companies to export, and government support to match UK capability with global opportunities.
“To hear that this critical trade promotion support could be reduced is unbelievable.
“The whole economy needs government to invest in trade promotion, and that’s certainly true for the maritime sector.
“Today we have just one dedicated member of frontline staff in the Department for International Trade supporting the export of the UK’s world-class maritime products and services. Sectors like our creative industries have in the order of 15 people.
“We welcome government’s ambition for our maritime sector, but this must be matched with delivery.
“Investing in trade promotion is a win-win for government – with an ROI in terms of tax receipts, increased trade and employment.
“The UK’s £50bn maritime sector is committed to increasing the £500bn trade that passes through our ports, but we need government to play its part. We can make “global Britain” a reality, but not with one hand tied behind our backs.
“There are tremendous opportunities in dynamic and fast-growing economies across the world. We need our network of embassies and High Commissions to be scoping opportunities and matching our companies with the demand. Competitor countries are certainly not scaling back their ambition, and neither should we.
“We live in a competitive global marketplace and competitor countries really get behind their companies.
“They get more of their companies to more exhibitions and on trade missions. Those companies get more contacts, knowledge and build stronger relationships which mean they win more business.”
“We urge government to think again.”
Source: Maritime UK, 8 May 2018