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For every £1 invested in the TAP scheme, £40 comes back to the country in taxable revenue. Since 2013, the scheme value across all industries has shrunk from £20m to an estimated £6m in 2019. As our country prepares to leave the EU, our largest trading partner by far, we should be doing more, not less, to support our exporters to reach new markets. Uniquely, government has control over the funding needed to make a success our our country's export strategy.

Whilst the TAP scheme survives, and the Sponsors' Alliance enjoys good relations with DIT, direct export support to companies is chronically underfunded and schemes like TAP are becoming increasingly bureaucratic.

The Sponsors' Alliance believes a funded Tradeshow Access Programme, that compares with that of our EU competitors and as part of a broader export support offer, will significantly help SMEs to secure export business.


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Department for International Trade

New and existing UK exporters in most industry sectors find exhibiting at overseas exhibitions one of the best ways to start or improve their exports.

Various reports and surveys have shown that for every pound of support, under the DITís Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) to help an SME exhibit at an overseas exhibition or conference, will return at least £40 of revenue.

The UK Government has continually said that manufacturing and exporting will help lead the UK to narrow the trade gap, yet the Department for International Trade, continues to reduce its budget for International Exhibition Support Schemes (TAP) while expanding its workforce to more than twice the size of UKTI

Funding for the widely acclaimed scheme has yo-yoed from £20 million (across ALL industry sectors in the UK) in 2004/05 to an estimated £6m in 2019/20. Most of our European competitors invest vastly more than this, with Germany investing in excess of 20m Euros.

If the UK is to improve its exports, and develop new markets in the context of Brexit, we need a holistic approach to export support and development, properly thought out and funded programmes and a stable export plan. Tradefairs are part of this but so too is a well funded Commercial Officer network in our Embassies and Consulates and sectoral trade missions.

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