The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) today welcomed the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry’s comment that the Government would revisit the decision to reduce funding for existing exporters.

Speaking after Mr Johnson’s speech at the BCC’s annual conference, Bill Midgley, BCC President, said:

"We very much welcome the Government’s willingness to consider additional support for UK exporters. The BCC strongly believes that the decision to reduce export support funding was ill-judged, at a time when our share of world exports is declining and our export growth has fallen from 9.1% in 1994-1996 to 3.5% in 2003-2005. Support for new-to-export firms is important, but we must not forget companies that already export closer to home and have the potential to do business in emerging markets.

"The appointment of a new Chief Executive at UKTI represents an ideal opportunity for the Government to refocus its activity on helping UK firms to access new markets. The BCC supports the proposed restructuring of UKTI so that greater emphasis is placed on emerging economies such as India and China. Our businesses must be alive to the opportunities in emerging economies if our export performance is to improve. We will be working closely with UKTI to emphasise the importance of existing exporters ahead of the publication of its new strategy in the summer."