Rail industry warns against ending export support for SMEs - International Burch University
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Rail industry warns against ending export support for SMEs

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has called on the government to reverse its decision to end a grant scheme set up to support SMEs exporting abroad. Rail industry warns against ending export support for SMEs

RIA warns that the Department for International Trade (DIT) decision to cancel the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) threatens to jeopardise the government’s Rail Sector Deal target of doubling exports to £1.6bn by 2025.

The Tradeshow Access Programme provides a number of small grants to SMEs which go directly to the cost of exhibiting at overseas trade fairs. In rail, around 194 grants have been given to businesses since 2016, with each grant valued between £1,500 and £2,500.

These grants allow SMEs to exhibit at overseas tradeshows and have been used at major events like InnoTrans in Germany, AusRail in Australia and Trako in Poland.

RIA Exports Director Neil Walker said: “With the Government looking to drive exports in the coming years, now is not the time to be withdrawing support for small businesses to exhibit at overseas trade fairs.

“The Tradeshow Access Programme, which provides small grants to SMEs exhibiting abroad, has been a major help in introducing businesses to exporting and has shown its value by providing a good return on investment. Stopping the scheme now will only make it harder to achieve the Government’s vision of a ‘Global Britain’.”

He added: “For UK rail, the scheme has been vital. One rail supplier reported a 1,200% growth in their business following an exhibition they visited after receiving a TAP grant in March 2020. Another said they had seen £50 million in revenue generated in the Middle East, with the TAP grants contributing directly. Several companies have told RIA they would not have attended certain exhibitions without the support TAP provided.

“So we urge the Government to continue supporting SMEs across the UK, both in rail and in other industries, in reinstating the TAP scheme or introducing an equivalent programme to support exporters. We hope Government will take this opportunity to help us ‘build back better’ and make the most of the Free Trade Agreements they are negotiating with countries across the world.”

Source https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/rail-industry-warns-against-ending-export-support-for-smes-22-07-2021/

Department of Civil Engineering https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-civil-engineering/