Trade expert Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade (IoE), has expressed strong confidence in Britain’s ability to achieve Kemi Badenoch’s ambitious goal of £1 trillion in exports annually by 2030. This optimistic outlook stands in contrast to the pessimistic claims made by those who opposed Brexit. Badenoch, in her role as the head of the new Board of Trade, unveiled this target earlier this year, emphasizing the need to address export barriers and facilitate the growth of UK businesses.
Forgione, who collaborates closely with the Business and Trade Secretary, affirmed the achievability of the £1 trillion target and highlighted a crucial aspect that could further enhance Britain’s export potential: the development of a comprehensive import strategy. He stressed the importance of creating resilient supply chains, especially in light of the vulnerabilities exposed during the challenges faced in 2020. While the UK has made progress in building robust supply chains, there is a need for a fully-formed import strategy covering various commodities and components.
Forgione praised innovative measures taken by the UK government, including the implementation of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), which will digitize border checks and streamline global supply chains. He also commended initiatives like freeports, which connect Britain to a global network and support economic growth in struggling regions. Additionally, he acknowledged the significance of trade deals such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and agreements with Australia and New Zealand. However, he pointed out a critical gap: businesses need support in harnessing the benefits of these free trade agreements.
Forgione cited an example of a UK food and drink manufacturer that was unaware of the potential free trade agreement with Australia, indicating a lack of awareness among businesses about available opportunities. He emphasized the need for proactive efforts to educate and support businesses in leveraging these trade agreements. According to Forgione, both the IoE and the government have a vital role to play in bridging this knowledge gap and helping businesses make the most of the opportunities presented by these agreements.
In conclusion, while the UK is on track to achieve its ambitious export target, there is a need for a coordinated effort to ensure that businesses are well-informed and equipped to benefit from the available trade agreements. With the right support and a strategic approach to imports and exports, Britain can not only meet but potentially exceed its £1 trillion annual exports goal, signaling a promising future for post-Brexit trade.