The Department for International Trade (DIT) helps companies acquiring skills, contacts and confidence to start exporting or break into new markets.
Through their International Trade Advisers, SMEs receive tailored Export Support; support is aimed to both companies who never exported before or seasoned exporters who would like to increase their international foothold. DIT offers a broad range of services, including tailored advice and support, training opportunities and structured programmes. Services are available across the following areas:
- export strategy and planning
- sales and marketing, including sector knowledge and market knowledge (ie. Transport sector)
- introductions to foreign buyers
- access to trade missions and overseas tradeshows
- e-exporting, optimising digital sales channels/websites
- language and culture masterclasses
- product and service development, including: innovation, IP and certification/standards
- operations, including: legal and regulatory issues, export controls, documentation, logistics and distribution.
DIT can help UK companies :
• increase their presence in overseas markets
• overcome difficulties getting in to markets
• develop supply chain opportunities
• partner internationally in technology innovation
DIT has a global network of more than 100 offices (located in British Embassies and Consulates abroad) with an understanding of the transport sector and the support offered by the UK government.

Resources needed

DIT is a Government Department, funded by the UK Government. On a Regional level, it operates by appointing 9 different local delivery partners. Here in the West Midlands, the delivery partners for DIT are the 6 Chambers of Commerce.

Evidence of success

Since its creation, 130 000 businesses have been supported and 51 000 new jobs were created.
Exports in the 12 months to April 2019 grew by 4.0% to a record high of £645.8bn.
Examples of DIT’s impact within the Transport Sector are represented in the levels of exports per key sectors, for example: Automotive sector (now exporting over £100 billion), Rail sector (£800 m) and aerospace (£335billion).

Potential for learning or transfer

DIT represents an optimum example of how first-time exporters could be coached to enter exporting for the first time, and at the same time how more experienced exporters could be tutored to enter new markets.
In a global economy, without barriers, exporting is key to the success of businesses and Governments. The most successful exporting countries have specific strategies of support to SMEs in order to coach them to do so. Barriers to start exporting are often not linked to funding, but to issues like confidence, product/ service adaptability, language/cultural barriers, ect.
Exporting fast forwards growth and makes companies more resilient in hostile environments.

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Main institution
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Start Date
July 2016
End Date


Giuliana Famiglietti Pipola Please login to contact the author.