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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Awards for Excellence 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

At the recent Awards ceremony for staff of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Meg gave the following speech. For details of UKTI visit: https://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk/



I welcome you to the sixth UKTI Staff Awards the Awards for Excellence 2008.


I’m pleased to be here as within the Foreign Office I have responsibility for UKTI. On foreign visits I make a point of meeting UKTI staff in post, most recently in Australia.


It’s a great pleasure to see so many here, particularly our guests from business and colleagues from across the network. Also to see so many of our friends from the D Group, with whom we enjoy an excellent relationship. This is due, in no small part, to the enthusiastic engagement of the Group’s Chairman, Paul Cautley.


I also welcome representatives from The Open University Business School. They have been our partners in developing the very successful UKTI Diploma in Management, Trade and Investment. We will be seeing some of our students this evening.


UKTI is lucky in having a very proactive Minister for Trade in Lord Digby Jones. He is passionate about UKTI. I know he would really have wanted to be here this evening. However, typically, he had a prior travel commitment and is currently en route to Azerbaijan on UKTI business.


Enormous benefits

Trade and investment bring enormous benefits to this country. UK Trade & Investment play a key role in helping our companies succeed in the international trading environment. As well as assisting overseas companies bring high quality investment here.


It is nearly two years since the UKTI strategy was launched. The progress you have made has been impressive. 


This very ambitious strategy has put UKTI at the heart of the government’s response to the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. Through the strategy UKTI adds maximum value for the economy. As many of you know, in addition a set of high profile international sector marketing strategies have been drawn up in partnership with business.


At the heart of the UKTI strategy has been:

  • a step change in the marketing of the UK as the international business partner of choice,
  • more effective partnership between those supporting UK business internationally, and
  • a greater focus on those companies, sectors and markets which offer the greatest potential.  

It is good to see that you have been winning on all three counts! 


UKTI has received recognition for the significant contribution it makes to the UK economy, including from the Chair of the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee who last year commented on the “valuable and commendable job” you do.


Notable successes

UKTI has produced some very notable successes over the last year.  Thanks to the great work you have done to develop robust evaluation and measurement systems, there are some really impressive results to report.


To mention just a few:

  • your trade services have helped 15,900 companies to exploit overseas business opportunities in the past year - 12,600 of these were innovative companies,
  • 9,000 of these customers reported an improvement in their business performance, generating an additional 3 billion in bottom line benefits,
  • 10,000 companies overcame barriers to entering new overseas markets as a result of your work, and
  • UKTI generated 15 for every 1 in operating costs. 

It is a credit to all staff across the network that so much has been achieved.


With the government changes of July 2007, responsibility for defence export support switches from the Ministry of Defence to UKTI. We have a world class defence sector in this country, bringing support for defence exports under the UKTI umbrella gives a real opportunity to build on DESO’s past successes.


Changes like this sound simple, but I know the transfer involved a huge amount of work. It happened in double quick time and on schedule, a credit to all involved.  Indeed, I think we will see that outstanding achievement recognised later this evening.  


Let me close by thanking the D Group for their continued sponsorship of these awards. I especially want to congratulate this year’s winners of the UKTI Awards for Excellence and the D Group’s Derek Fatchett Medal.

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