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Government plan to create 100,000 new UK exporters

The Government has launched a new export programme with the aim of getting 100,000 additional companies exporting by 2020.

Exporting is GREAT, part of the established GREAT campaign, is a new five-year programme launched this week that will present live export opportunities to businesses.

These opportunities, with a potential total value of more than £300 million, will be hosted on a new platform

The launch comes after business bodies expressed doubt that the Government could reach its ambitious export targets.

The initiative promises to provide advice to businesses at every step on their exporting journey, from initial interest to selling in market. This will include a year-long roadshow that will travel the UK, giving face-to-face support to potential exporters.

Lord Francis Maude, minister for trade and investment, said: "I see first-hand the demand that exists for UK products and services, but many companies don't realise this demand exists."

According to research by TNS on behalf of BIS and UKTI, 70% of non-exporters believe that their product/service is not suitable for export.

Maude said: "We are confident that through Exporting is GREAT, by raising awareness of and providing access to these opportunities, together with giving companies the practical advice and guidance they need, we will inspire and support thousands of new companies in the exciting new venture of selling overseas."

The initiative has the support of 31 the UK's leading business names including the British Chambers of Commerce, CBI, The Manufacturers' Association, Federation of Small Businesses, Funding Circle, Google, HSBC, ICAEW, IoD, Institute of Export, Microsoft and Sage.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage, said: "Exporting is a significant step on the journey - one that many small and medium businesses don't feel they have the support or knowledge to take. Our customers tell us that awareness of the opportunities and more Government and industry support would help them make the move, so we are thrilled to be supporting Exporting is GREAT."

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