UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has offices in over 100 UK Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions worldwide. This global network is a resource that can help you develop your company overseas. By making contact with UKTI, you can access a resource which is designed to increase your turnover generated from overseas markets. For the list of all the markets in which UKTI are active, please refer to: http://www.ukti.gov.uk/export/countries.html
The support that UKTI can provide is often free, or highly subsidised, and in some cases, grants can be made available for a particular activity. What follows is a summary of some of our key services:
1. International Trade Advisors (ITAs)
Our International Trade Teams are located in over 40 local offices around the country. In each region, there are ITAs who can talk directly to you. ITAs have experience working internationally, and many are specialists’ who have worked in your particular business sector.
An ITA can provide advice on the range of UKTI services available to support your company. Whether you are new to exporting, or wish to develop in further overseas markets, there is a range of support and services to help. Whether you require advice on export documentation, contacts in overseas markets, market selection, overseas visits, e-commerce, export training, market research, or a host of other issues, speak to an ITA who can help. You’ll be able to ask questions, assess your capabilities from a fresh perspective, and plan possible next steps for your company.
To find an International Trade Advisor please refer to this link:
2. Tradeshow Access Programme grants (TAP)
The Tradeshow Access Programme provides funding in the form of grants for eligible businesses to attend overseas tradeshows. The funding helps your business gain:
• market knowledge
• experience in attending and getting the most from overseas trade shows
• advice and support from trade experts
How the service works
The grants are based around the Tradeshow Access Programme Calendar of Supported Events 2014 to 2015 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 97.5KB) with an appropriate accredited trade organisation leading the UK’s involvement at each event. Businesses usually take part as a group, led by the trade organisation for that tradeshow.
What you’ll get
UKTI can offer grants to eligible businesses taking part in the programme. The grants must be matched by the business’s own expenditure on direct exhibiting costs eg:
• exhibition space costs
• stand costs - including design, construction and stand dressing
In some cases grants may also be agreed to match against direct conference costs where the purpose of attending is to promote the business, e.g.:
• conference fees
• cost of preparing conference promotional material
Category Current grant levels
Group exhibition (European location) £1,500
Group exhibition (long haul) £2,000
Group exhibition (typical high growth market) £2,500
Group exhibition - first time exhibitor at an event in a high growth market £3,000
Grant levels may be subject to change. You’ll be told about any trade organisation service or management fee charges before you sign up.
You can claim a maximum of 12 grants, but 6 of them must be taken in the following emerging and high growth markets:
• South Korea
• Saudi Arabia
• South Africa
• Hong Kong
To be eligible for a grant you must:
• be based in the UK (excluding Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)
• be a small or medium-sized enterprise, UK university, UK government funded centre of higher or further learning or UK government funded research organisation
• be either actively investigating export opportunities for your own business
• be a new exporter (exports accounting for no more than 25% of your turnover) or have exported for no more than 10 years
• be within the State Aid limit of €200,000 over any rolling 3 year period
• not receive any other public funds towards eligible costs for the grant you are applying for
• not have been fully committed to attend the event prior to seeking the grant
You must also be able to demonstrate that you are either:
• selling products or services which originate from the UK
• adding significant value to a product or service of non-UK origin
View the Tradeshow Access Programme Exhibitor Terms and Conditions (MS Word Document, 120KB)
3. Market Access Programme grants
MAP (Market Access Programme) grants of £300 - £775 are available to SMEs joining a mission. Once a company has been offered a place, they will be sent a MAP application form.
An SME is defined as a company with fewer than 250 employees which EITHER has an annual turnover not exceeding €50m or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €47m. Payment of the MAP grant will be made 30 days after your return from the mission.
The amount available is based on the mission country:
Country MAP grant available for SME's
Hong Kong £600
4. Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS)
The EMRS provides independent advice, at no charge, on carrying out marketing research; whether you’re looking at new markets or re-evaluating an existing one. In addition companies may be eligible for a grant of up to 50% of the cost of conducting market research.
So if you’re too busy to consider new markets, or you’re not even sure where to start, the EMRS could provide the solution you need
5. Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS)
UK Trade & Investment's Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) is a flexible business tool, letting you use the services of our trade teams, located in our embassies, high commissions and consulates across the world, to benefit your business.
Our overseas staff are at the heart of the service because of their local language skills, market knowledge and extensive political and commercial contacts.
Whether you're a first timer or a very experienced exporter, a broad range of elements can be combined to suit your individual needs. OMIS can provide help at any stage - from initial research, to arranging a market visit, to using our contacts and impressive facilities to help close a major deal.
Work can include:
• likelihood of success in the market and market entry strategies
• business opportunities and identification of possible partners
• advice on local conditions, including competitors, regulation and standards
• advice on accessing and influencing decision makers
• arrangements for a promotional event
The local experts will then discuss, develop and agree a quote. This can include:
• pre-visit reserach and support
• appointments with target customers or potential business partners or agents
• organisation of receptions, meetings or seminars for you to present your product or service
There is a charge for OMIS services calculated on a case by case basis.
6. UKTI Business Opportunities Service
International sales leads are the lifeblood of any business, which is why our staff overseas in British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates are always looking for opportunities for UK businesses.
Over 1000 Business Opportunities are published across all sectors and in over 100 markets each month. These range from private sector contracts to multilateral aid agency tenders to public sector projects.
As a UK company, when you register with our website we can put you in contact with the companies and organisations who are looking for suppliers.
7. GREAT Weeks
The GREAT Weeks give UK-based businesses the opportunity to join government-led trade missions to meet major buyers, potential partners, and influential opinion formers in markets including:
Each GREAT Week brings together the resources of government and the talents of UK business in an intense burst of events, PR, networking and high-level discussions designed to draw attention to UK expertise and create opportunities.
8. Postgraduates for International Business
Your International Trade Adviser will help you decide whether your business could benefit from hiring a foreign language speaking student. If so, you’ll work with a UKTI representative to draw up a brief job specification.
The specification will be fed through to the appropriate institution, who will advertise the job on your behalf. Recruitment and selection will then be your responsibility, working with university or HEI contacts.
There are a number of rules and regulations around hiring a foreign language speaking student. As part of the service, your university or HEI contact will be able to advise you on matters such as working hours, visa requirements and wages.
Hiring a student can help your company to address the language and cultural barriers associated with market entry and development. This could include assistance with:
• website development
• research on new markets and strategy development
• market visit support
• development of international contacts
• customer/supplier liaison and customer service
• cultural issues
• lead follow-up
To find out more
For more information on all UKTI services, please refer: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-trade-and-investment-services-for-exporters
Details correct as of December 2014.