Manufacturing is coming homeManufacturing has always been a staple of the British economy. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, it has evolved to meet the demands of a changing world and today it remains as robust as ever. My experience of the industry is wide-ranging and in the 35 years I have been in manufacturing I have seen a great deal of change. My background is in capital equipment and I have exported to over 65 countries. I eventually came to specialise in plastics and the reprocessing of industrial waste.
I have lived and operated companies in countries as diverse as Sweden, USA and Brazil, and as a result I know the challenges that face manufacturers when exporting to new and unfamiliar places. This background puts me in good stead as I join UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) London as an International Trade Adviser. Although it feels strange to be the 'new boy' again, my new role gives me an excellent opportunity to put these decades of experience to good use. I am delighted to join a team of knowledgeable advisers who are as passionate as I am about the markets they specialise in.
The products of British manufacturing are in exceptionally high demand around the world at the moment. From innovative British designs in the fashion industry to durable tooling technology in the construction industry, the global market is scrambling for British products.
This, combined with rising production costs in the emerging economies and reducing costs in the UK, is resulting in a dramatic reversal in the decline of British manufacturing. British production and British manufacturing are on the brink of a renaissance, and I am honoured to be in a position to nurture this trend.
Already, British manufacturers at the cutting edge of renewable energy technology are making the most of high demand in Japan. Firms such as Funky Renewables supply Japan with power optimisation systems and consultancy services as the country moves increasingly away from nuclear power sources and towards innovative, renewable alternatives. These alternatives are being built in the factories of Britain as the secondary sector continues to expand.
Likewise the manufacture of British apparel and fashion items has seen a peak in recent years, particularly in high-growth markets like South Korea and China. The combined value of UK textiles and apparel exports is now £7.3bn and continues to grow due to the universal appeal of Britain's high quality branding, rich textile heritage and sophisticated production techniques.
Wherever demand like this can be met by British supply, UKTI is available to help. We work across more than 100 markets, helping businesses at every stage of their development. The 'Passport to Export' scheme, for instance, helps prospective exporters assess their readiness for international trade. It provides them with the training, planning and ongoing support needed to begin their journey to export.
To ensure the upward trend in British manufacturing continues, I urge companies to access the help that UKTI has to offer. I am looking forward to helping companies meet their potential, energise their exports and help us reach our target, set by Trade Minister Lord Green, of 100,000 new exporters in the next five years.
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