George Osborne announced several new support schemes for UK businesses looking to export their wares abroad during the 2014 Budget, including a boost in public lending and changes to taxes for air passengers. Yesterday the Chancellor used a speech during his official visit to Brazil to announce the “next stage in the government’s fundamental overhaul of finance for British exporters.”
The Treasury claims these new measures will mean the UK does more to support its exporters than any other country. The changes announced include a Bank of England scheme to increase private sector lending to exporters by guaranteeing certain loans through UK Export Finance, making lending to exporters less risky for banks.
UK Export Finance is also doubling its own loan pot to £3 billion, and slashing the interest rate by a third.
Alongside direct financial support, it was also announced that UK Trade and Investment will invest around £4 million per year to triple the number of advisors available to mid-sized businesses looking to sell abroad.
The Chancellor said of the new measures:
“For decades we have not been exporting enough – not just to Brazil, but to all the fastest growing markets in the world, so I am confronting that historic weakness head-on. […] I am doubling the amount of government lending for exports and cutting the interest rates on that lending, by a third.
“I am clear: Britain will no longer have some of the least competitive export finance in Europe. We are going to have the most competitive export finance in Europe.
“Banks will now have access to a special Bank of England facility that will make it much less risky for them to extend loans to our exporters. That should mean billions of extra lending will be made available to our exporters.”
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