A leading trade expert said that Britain will “definitely” hit Kemi Badenoch’s ambitious target of £1trillion a year in British exports by 2030 but could be doing even better with one important change.
The analysis by Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade (IoE) represents a massive vote of confidence in Brexit Britain and appears to disprove the gloomy claims by Remainers about leaving the EU.
Ms Badenoch set the ambitious target earlier this year when she unveiled her new Board of Trade.
At the time she said: “In line with the Government’s ambition to grow UK exports every year until we hit a trillion annually by 2030, the focus of the new Board will be on working with leaders from the UK’s top growth sectors to identify and address export barriers so businesses can achieve their full potential.”
Mr Forgione, who works closely with the Business and Trade Secretary, said he is confident that the target will be surpassed by 2030.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Forgione said: “The idea of a trillion by 2030 in exports, which is laudable.
“We will definitely meet it, I have no doubt that we will achieve the trillion in exports.
“I think that there’s a real focus in government to achieve that £1trillion.”
However, he said that the UK should be looking beyond that target to maximise its exports.
“What we also need – and this is a point we’ve been making to the Government – is we have to have a fully formed import strategy for the UK, not just on critical minerals, but on a much wider set of commodities and components.
“So that we’ve got a resilience Look, we’ve discovered in 2020, that we had highly efficient supply chains, but they were hugely vulnerable and they broke.”
Mr Forgione said that excellent work had been done to create more “robust” supply chains and noted that this has given the UK the edge in becoming a centre for critical minerals and given it an edge over the EU in manufacturing e-vehicles.
But he also hailed the soon-to-be-implemented new digital border check on goods which Remainers have tried to criticise claiming it will increase the cost of goods from the EU.
The Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) will be the first fully digitised border check in the world and open up supply chains from all around the globe.
The new system is due to start on November 16 and will be rolled out in stages over 2024.
Mr Forgione said that a series of high-profile Brexit innovations by the Government have put the UK in a strong place.
This includes freeports which plug Britain into a global network and help revive struggling parts of the UK and the range of trade deals.
But highlighting the major change needed, he warned that he said that business now needs help with catching up with the “fantastic opportunities”.
He told Express.co.uk: “The basics are in place – the CPTPP, Australia and New Zealand trade deals are a massive achievement from the Government.
“They should be applauded for what’s been done in securing those deals.
“The challenge of that is now getting businesses to use the benefits of those free trade agreements.
“There still is a gap between the potential and actually what’s what’s being used.”
He went on: “I was just speaking to a brilliant UK manufacturer in the food drink sector, they were starting to export to Australia and they had no idea that there was a potential free trade agreement about to be signed with Australia, or indeed how they benefit from it.
“There’s a whole bunch of other businesses that don’t even know there’s a potential there.
“So there’s a lot more that I think needs to be done not just to evangelise and promote the benefits of the free trade, but to get into business and explain to them how they can make take advantage of these trade agreements.
“That is our job at the IoE and the Government’s job.”