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UK TRADE & INVESTMENT

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.

UKTI has a customer commitment to helping its UK and international customers by providing a range of services, to a high standard and improve customer service by listening to customer feedback.

We also have a co-ordination role across government to establish a more systematic approach to relationships with companies which are the most economically significant investors and exporters.

INVEST IN THE UK

Why the UK?

Rich and diverse market

The UK is a rich and diverse market ranging from Pharmaceuticals, Fashion and Advanced Manufacturing through to primary food production and including world leading businesses in Space Technologies Aerospace and Automotive engineering. Whatever market sector you operate in you will find the UK an attractive location with customers, product innovators, suppliers and partners easily accessible.

Creative and innovative

Every business needs good ideas and the UK is one of the most prolific sources of imaginative solutions and creative thinking in the world. From research in academia through companies innovating in new products to design for the high street and digital creativity for the games industry, the UK has an outstanding record of achievement.

Trading nation

The UK has a long history as a trading nation and today embraces the modern international trading principles of fair and open trade on a level and equal basis. As a result overseas business investing in the UK can register their company, set up banking facilities and start trading very quickly and receive the same support from the UK government as any native business. 

Internationally Minded 

The UK has long term historical links with all corners of the globe extending to strong cultural bonds that are deeply rooted in UK culture. As a result the UK is an ideal location to set up and build a business that’s dependent on international links. Whether you need a network of connections, language skills or a familiar community for staff on expat assignments – the UK will can provide the solution. 

Easy to set up, easy to operate, competitive cost base 

You can register your company in just 24 hours in the UK. All high street banks can offer business banking services with online comparison tools available to compare costs. Financial transitions and government services are easy to manage on-line.

Springboard UK 

The UK is the number one gateway to Europe, giving easy access to the 27 member states of the European Union, the world’s largest single market. It offers world-class transport links - with Heathrow's new Terminal 5, and more expansion planned for international airports, sea containers and the rail network.

UK labour market

The UK’s labour market is one of the worlds’ most flexible. This factor combined with its strong skills base in the UK is reflected in its excellent record of attracting major foreign investors from all over the world.

Quality of life in the UK 

UK residents enjoy a high standard of living, education and recreation. Publicly funded health care is free to all and there is a rich cultural heritage and abundance of leisure facilities.

Our investment location services are independent, highly professional and free of charge. For specific help setting up in the UK or for help mapping your business ambitions to the UK please contact the UKTI Investment Services Team through our online enquiry form here.

Though our existing programmes and relationships we will introduce you to key business enablers such as local authorities, incentives specialists, R&D experts, planning advisers, university and innovation partners or business networks.

Our approach to location advisory work, and the independent data sources we rely on, mirror the approach taken by leading private sector site selection consultants.

Speeding you to market

Once you have decided on a location, our service and partner networks will help you get up and running in the shortest possible time by helping you find office space, register your firm, provide introductions to relevant professional services firms and give guidance on visas, accommodation, staff relocation and recruitment services.

Navigating you through government

Whatever the size of your business, strategic investments may involve detailed financial assessments, government incentives and could necessitate discussions with planning, industry and regulatory bodies. UKTI will help you find your way to the right contacts and stakeholders and help you guide your project through national and local government working as your single point of contact. You can also contact the UK Advisory Network where you will find business professionals who can advise you on specific or local needs. Examples would include specific tax planning, property solutions, legal and IP advisory, banking and financing organisations and a host of other private sector providers who we have selected to support our clients.

Our investment location services are independent, highly professional and free of charge. For specific help setting up in the UK or for help mapping your business ambitions to the UK please contact the UKTI Investment Services Team through our online enquiry form here

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DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS INNOVATION & SKILLS

BIS brings all of the levers of the economy together in one place. Our policy areas – from skills and higher education to innovation and science to business and trade – can all help to drive growth.

Here’s an overview of our policy areas – click on the links to find out more.

We are committed to fostering competitive markets through the right business law framework, enabling companies to compete freely and giving consumers choice and value.

Consumers  should be treated fairly, know their rights and be able to use them effectively, and consumer law should be fair to both consumers and businesses.

We believe employment matters and are working to promote best practice and effective employment relations.

Through enterprise and business support we are strengthening the enterprise environment for small businesses and enabling more people and communities to set up in business.

We are committed to helping British industry increase its productivity and develop world-class competitiveness by supporting strategically important business sectors.

Britain

is a trading nation, and we help UK firms to trade with other countries in three key areas of importance to companies trading and exporting internationally: Europetrade and export control.

The Better Regulation Executive is leading reform across government to reduce the administrative burden on business.

We are committed to fostering world-class higher education to provide the nation with the high level skills needed for economic success, while ensuring excellence in teaching and research.

We’re creating a high quality and responsive further education sector that equips workers with the skills demanded in a modern globalised economy. This will strengthen economic performance and improve the life chances of our people.

We’re pursuing global excellence in science and research to help us maintain economic prosperity and address key global and domestic challenges, such as climate change and security.

Innovation helps us deal with complex challenges and drive growth by improving productivity and R&D. BIS leads on the innovation agenda and is taking action to boost innovation in the economy and across the public sector.

We aim to help every region in England to increase sustainable regional economic development and narrow the gap in growth rates between regions.

And through the Shareholder Executive we are working with Government departments and management teams to help Government-owned businesses perform better.

Partner organisations

BIS is supported by a wide range of organisations in delivering its strategic priorities. Our network of partner organisations provides services, information and advice to the Department and directly to a wide range of people and organisations.

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Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is all about driving innovation.

Our role is to stimulate technology-enabled innovation in the areas which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity. We promote, support and invest in technology research, development and commercialisation. We spread knowledge, bringing people together to solve problems or make new advances.

We advise Government on how to remove barriers to innovation and accelerate the exploitation of new technologies. And we work in areas where there is a clear potential business benefit, helping today's emerging technologies become the growth sectors of tomorrow.

Our vision:

For the UK to be a global leader in innovation and a magnet for innovative businesses, who can apply technology rapidly, effectively and sustainably to create wealth and enhance quality of life.

The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), established by the Government in 2007 and sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The activities of the Technology Strategy Board are jointly supported and funded by BIS and other government departments, the devolved administrations, regional development agencies and research councils.

How we can help

UK Trade and Investment is the national government agency that offers free support and independent advice to foreign companies looking to invest or locate in the UK.

On this page you can find out more about how our extensive network of experienced sector and location consultants provide market information, location guidance and practical help getting your UK operation up and running.

Οur extensive network of experienced sector and location consultants will provide market information, location guidance and practical help getting your UK operation up and running.

Οnce you are established, UKTI will remain available to your operation, helping you grow and access export markets from your UK base.

Our investment location services are independent, highly professional and free of charge.

Supporting your location choice

Detailed and authoritative information, backed up by critical market insight are the cornerstone of our service.

To help you navigate the large and varied economy of the UK and find the ideal location for your project we compile and deliver factual reports on key decision drivers such as; market access, availability of skills, centres of excellence, regulatory information, property and labour cost comparisons.

Our ability to provide an authoritative whole UK view using comparative location data from internationally recognised sources ensures you have the best data available from a single source.

We also understand the importance of an effective network of contacts in embedding and facilitating foreign investment.

How we can help

UK Trade and Investment is the national government agency that offers free support and independent advice to foreign companies looking to invest or locate in the UK.

On this page you can find out more about how our extensive network of experienced sector and location consultants provide market information, location guidance and practical help getting your UK operation up and running.

Our extensive network of experienced sector and location consultants will provide market information, location guidance and practical help getting your UK operation up and running.

Once you are established, UKTI will remain available to your operation, helping you grow and access export markets from your UK base.

Our investment location services are independent, highly professional and free of charge.

Supporting your location choice

Detailed and authoritative information, backed up by critical market insight are the cornerstone of our service.

To help you navigate the large and varied economy of the UK and find the ideal location for your project we compile and deliver factual reports on key decision drivers such as; market access, availability of skills, centres of excellence, regulatory information, property and labour cost comparisons.

Our ability to provide an authoritative whole UK view using comparative location data from internationally recognised sources ensures you have the best data available from a single source.

We also understand the importance of an effective network of contacts in embedding and facilitating foreign investment.

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FORESIGHT

Since its creation in 1994 the Foresight Programme has helped the UK Government to think systematically about the future. We advise government about how to ensure today’s decisions are robust to future uncertainties.

By combining the latest science and evidence with futures analysis, we help policy makers tackle complex issues with a better understanding of the potential opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
We do this in three ways:

  • Major Foresight Projects: in-depth two-year studies which build a comprehensive evidence base on major issues looking 20-80 years into the future
  • Policy Futures Projects: shorter projects which provide futures and evidence analysis to fill a specific gap in existing policy understanding
  • The Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre: training, toolkits and networks to strengthen futures thinking capacity and share best practice within and across government

Our work is used to stimulate and inform the development of more effective strategies, policies and priorities at national and international levels.

Foresight is headed by Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, who reports directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It is a part of the Government Office for Science within the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Criteria for project selection

The Foresight Programme seeks to undertake projects that draw upon a range of disciplines and deal with key issues for the economy, society and the environment and where science and technology can offer valuable insights and solutions. By looking ahead further than is traditional, our projects help the Government to strike the right balance between long-term thinking and tackling issues that need immediate attention. We select topics for new Foresight projects against this background.

Foresight has operated a project-based approach since 2002. The Foresight Programme judges suggestions for new projects against a number of criteria. We look for projects that:

  • Are future-oriented and based upon science and technology
  • Involve cross-disciplinary science and technology, and policy issues that cut across departmental boundaries.
  • Can produce results that can influence Government policy
  • Will not duplicate work taking place elsewhere
  • Has support in and commitment from key stakeholders

New projects depend on finding a lead sponsor in the Government department that is responsible for the area of policy that the project will investigate.

Projects come about in various ways. For example, ideas may arise from within the Foresight Programme itself, as a result of consultation with government departments or from discussions with the research community. The Foresight Advisory Board also feeds into the process.

When developing a new project Foresight we set out to give interested parties opportunities to contribute throughout the process. Our aim is to come up with proposals that we can put before ministers for their approval.

In the formulation of any new project, we want to ensure that it meets a series of criteria. Our goal is that any Foresight project must:

  • look ahead at least 10 years, in areas where outcomes are uncertain –  typically where there is likely to be rapid change, where current trends are uncertain or where different trends may converge;
  • involve science and technology as the main drivers of change or sources of solutions;
  • cover topics where the Government can have a significant influence on what happens;
  • build from areas of active research without duplicating work carried on elsewhere;
  • require an interdisciplinary approach to the science – including social science, and arts and humanities – and bring together groups from academia, business and government; and
  • command the support of the groups most likely to be able to influence the future.

An important requirement for any Foresight project is that a government department has to find the idea so compelling, and with a good fit with its own policy discussions, that it is prepared to sponsor the work and that a government minister is willing to guide the project by chairing its High Level Stakeholder Group. 

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