UKTI deal with Amazon to boost UK exports
Amazon have announced a deal with the government in an aim to give more support to small businesses wishing to export. Last year UK businesses collectively exported more than £1 billion of products through Amazon Marketplace, with the number of UK businesses using the platform for exporting up by more than 90%
The deal is a Memorandum of Understanding with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) which was signed the GREAT Global Investment Conference 2015 in Central London.
UK SMEs currently trail behind the rest of Europe in terms of exports, according to research from UKTI. Of the five million companies in the UK, only one in five currently export – compared with one in four in France and one in three in Germany. The agreement signed between Amazon and UKTI will help to encourage and facilitate overseas trade for British businesses through new resources and dedicated programmes that show the simplicity of selling through Amazon’s global e-commerce platforms.
Amazon say that they’ve created a suite of products to help small businesses including currency exchange, translation, regulatory complexity, tax and duty, marketing and global shipment and distribution.
The deal with UKTI signal a change in their focus, which they elaborated upon at the recent Pentagon Fashion Without Borders event. UKTI explained that in the past they have run trade missions to various countries around the world taking hundreds of suppliers and retailers and made introductions to businesses all around the globe. Whilst this has been successful, they’re now starting to focus heavily on digital businesses and looking at how to help small to mediums size enterprises export via the web – hence their involvement in Fashion Without Borders, a conference aimed to introduce retailers to multiple overseas marketplaces.
Look out for more announcements from UKTI, and if you see events which they’re involved in it’s probably worth popping along. Trade missions were largely (at least it appears) to be aimed at larger businesses that could take full advantage of the introductions made. UKTI’s new digital focus opens the doors to smaller and micro businesses and Fashion without Borders and Amazon’s new deal are just the start of their plans for increasing digital exports.
Lets hope the UKTI have some useful information.. I tried for ages to get help regarding German VAT registration – and got no-where, they have no guides written in English, – I suggested this would help hundreds of companies, as the advice from German VAT to pay a consultant to register is quite silly.. (although there are lots of firms that will register you for a fee) – why not create “idiots how to” guides for SME to use