As it’s Exporting is GREAT Week this week, we have been highlighting the exporting success of the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors. In 2014, our sectors generated £31bn of exports for the UK – with more than half of our sectors’ turnover coming from exports.
As part of Exporting is GREAT Week, today ADS held a member roundtable event with Iain Wright MP, Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, to discuss issues the Committee is currently holding inquiries on, including exports and the role of UKTI.
With a number of successful exporters sitting round the table it was a great opportunity to talk to Iain about the global growth opportunities our sectors offer, which are vital to the UK’s future as a high-tech, high-skill, high-wage economy. For example, in civil aerospace alone it is estimated that growth in global passenger traffic over the next 20 years will present a global market opportunity worth over $5 trillion.
Overall, the end of 2015 marked a positive year for ADS’ sectors, with Chief Executive Paul Everitt highlighting the Government’s long-term commitment to aerospace R&D funding through the Aerospace Technology Institute, and to the defence and security sectors in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) with important support for innovation, SMEs and exports.
Members discussed the key role of Government in promoting UK exports and the importance of industrial strategy – with each of our sectors having a successful growth partnership that is helping to boost exports and attract inward investment. ADS submitted evidence to the Committee’s current inquiry on exports and the role of UKTI, recommending that to ensure the UK remains a strong global exporter, the role of UKTI should be strengthened – with strategic support embedded across government – and particular support provided for SMEs.
The roundtable was well-attended and the discussion lively, as members discussed a range of other issues affecting their sectors, including access to finance and the apprenticeship levy. The BIS Committee will continue to look into all of these issues and, on Tuesday 26 April, will be holding an exports evidence session with the new Trade and Investment Minister Lord Price. You can watch the evidence session live on the Committee’s website.