What can government do to help British businesses grow internationally?
What should we do to help companies bring their business to the UK?
What can Government do to get out of the way, and empower better-placed partners to do?
And what can we do to inspire tens of thousands of employers, employees and entrepreneurs to begin their journey into international trade?
Our call to action
Two months ago, Francis Maude stood up in front of an entire Government department and explained very simply how he thought it ought to work.
User needs, user needs, user needs
– Francis Maude
For UKTI’s new digital team, that’s a pretty compelling call to action. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already interested in the government’s digital transformation work, being led by the Government Digital Service. You’ll know that’s the mantra. Everything built around the user – in our case, people involved in companies both in the UK and around the world.
Now let's press play
So we’ve got started. Last month we ran #ExportJam – 350 companies coming together in 9 inspiring locations around the UK. You can see their call to action on YouTube (and up top) and read all about the amazing ideas they came up with in some blog posts we'll publish shortly. We’ll be talking so much about our work to transform trade in the UK over the next year or so you’ll probably get bored of us – watch out for an amazing new advertising campaign in the autumn, Export Week in November, #ExportHack in early 2016, and plenty of blogs, tweets and videos all over the place.
And it’s obviously not just communication. Trade is now an all-of-government priority. We’ll be supporting our civil service colleagues everywhere to make that happen in practice.
That's to make sure it’s all for our ‘users’ – employees, employers and entrepreneurs in the UK and worldwide.
For you, we’ll be providing brilliant online services to help you find opportunities for international trade (watch these spaces). We’ll be doing everything to drastically lower the barrier to trading internationally. Reducing the number of forms you need to fill out. Helping you find partners to create consortia. Verifying that you, your bank, your lawyer, your international trading partner and everyone else you’re involved with are all ready and able to work together. Unblocking data within Government so (hopefully) you only have to tell us information once.
It’ll take a bit of time, but my team is already building the scaffolding to make it happen. We’ll tell you all about it here, and you’ll see the results of our work on the UKTI blog, across Government, and on posters and buses all over the world.
But most of all, it’ll just become part of the way that you work.
PS I’m about to start hiring. Follow me (@xcaplin) on Twitter and watch this blog.