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The chancellor pledged to invest £45 million in the UK to encourage Small and Medium Enterprise to move into exportation of goods and services. North East businesses may benefit from a share of the investment following a pledge by George Osborne to support companies looking to export.

Only a quarter of the 100,000 medium sized companies in the UK are exporters. In a bid to develop these businesses, £10 million will be invested in this group with the hope that 500 businesses may expand into other markets. The rest of the government funding will be used to double the 25,000 exporters by the recruitment of new advisers and giving an extension to support programmes.

If SMEs move towards exporting goods and services outside Europe, an extra £20 billion may be generated on an annual basis for the UK economy. The regional director for UKTI, North East, David Coppock said:

“The North East has a long and proud history of exporting which continues to this day, as the record export figures posted in the last 12 months have shown. But while it’s right to shout about this success, the reality is that only a small number of SMEs export their products.”

A larger number of companies will benefit from the Passport to Export scheme which assists businesses new to exportation to identify strong contacts and markets which would be appropriate. Gateway to Global Growth helps companies who are already established exporters to enter high yielding markets. By utilising the new initiatives, UKTI will double the number of businesses that they support, and help the government meet their target for businesses which export.

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