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Creating a culture of exporting

The Policy Institute, along with King’s Business School and the Entrepreneurship Institute, has partnered with Barclays to look at how the UK can improve its export performance. The long-term decline in the UK’s share of global exports and the decision to leave the European Union, which was the destination for almost half of UK goods exports and over a third of UK services exports in 2016, means this is an increasingly important policy question.

Towards a culture of exporting

So far, the research undertaken by the Policy Institute has involved three components:

  • A scoping study compiling information on what the UK exports, what UK exporting firms look like and the benefits of and barriers to exporting.
  • A ‘policy lab’ bringing together experts on exporting from the worlds of academia, policy, business and the civil service to discuss whether and how the UK can devise a strategy to significantly and sustainably boost exports.
  • A young entrepreneurs policy lab comprising King’s students who are developing their own business ideas to understand what they see as the barriers to exporting facing small businesses, and how they can be overcome.

The findings of this exploratory research are summarised in a briefing note and associated working paper, ‘Towards a culture of exporting: How to help UK exports do more and do better’, released in April 2018:

Read the briefing note >

Read the working paper >

Developing superstar exporters in the UK

The second project phase is investigating ‘superstar’ exporters, firms that export 10 or more products to 10 or more overseas markets. This research is seeking to understand how these firms develop, how they benefit the wider UK economy through their supply chains, and how policy can support more firms to attain superstar status.

The available empirical evidence offers insights for policymakers on how this goal might be achieved, shedding light on how superstar exporters emerge and behave, and assessing what we know about the efficacy of export support and promotion initiatives.

This is summarised in the working paper ‘Developing superstar exporters in the UK: A review of the evidence’, published in September 2018.

Read the working paper >


Delivering economic growth through exports

The final phase of this project takes an in-depth approach to the barriers to export growth perceived by UK business, the way in which firms currently use government and other export support services, and how policy can assist firms in improving export performance.

This focuses on sectoral and regional differences across the UK, including the devolved administrations. 

Read the working paper >