Fleet News

Motor industry calls for open trade policy

The UK motor industry today has called for government to pursue a positive trade policy that encourages manufacturing in the UK, promotes engineering excellence in key emerging markets and draws attention to the country as an attractive business location for international investors.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), stressed the need to stimulate manufacturing growth as he provided evidence to the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee as part of an inquiry looking at the role of trade and investment in rebalancing the economy. The Select Committee inquiry comes ahead of a forthcoming Trade White Paper, published by government that will address the role of trade and investment in strengthening growth in the UK.

Giving evidence at the House of Commons today Mr Everitt said, "The motor industry is one of the UK's most successful exporters. High value vehicles, engines and services are sold to markets around the world, with particular success in China, India and Russia. Future success will depend on increasing investment in UK-based skills, R&D and capital equipment. Government needs to ensure sustained promotion of UK engineering excellence in key emerging markets and incentives to encourage more investment into UK manufacturing capability."
Mr Everitt also stressed the importance of the role of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in supporting exports and investment through discussions with European Commission officials. BIS should use automotive as an example of an important sector of the economy, where growth potential through exports and investment in manufacturing is communicated as a key UK industrial strength.

The work of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) was also outlined as crucial to supporting the expansion of business overseas and promoting the UK as a leading location to invest. SMMT supports UKTI activities that help SMEs develop market opportunities, particularly through the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), Export Market Research Study (EMRS) and the Tradeshow Access Program (TAP).

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