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More than a third of frontline FCO staff time is devoted to helping British companies to develop their export and investment opportunities abroad, and to attracting inward investment to the UK. This section has information on FCO's role in trade promotion, and our partnerships with bodies including Overseas Trade Services and the Invest in Britain Bureau.

WILSON REVIEW OF EXPORT PROMOTION: In June 1998 the Foreign Secretary and the then President of the Board of Trade invited the Cabinet Secretary to oversee a review of the current official arrangements for the support and promotion of exports. In its report, published in March 1999, it recommended the establishment of a completely unified DTI-FCO trade promotion and development operation, with internal coherence and external clarity of identity and purpose, underpinned by strong branding. Executive summary of the report...

BRITISH TRADE INTERNATIONAL helps UK companies to take full advantage of overseas business opportunities, by employing the joint resources that are available through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the UK, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office through our Embassies and other missions overseas. Their Internet site includes individual 'Market Menu' pages for the UK's top export markets, detailing the range of services and information provided by British Trade International together with planned forthcoming events. (Subsequent to the Cabinet Secretary's recent Review of Export Promotion, British Trade International, was established to replace the Overseas Trade Services of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Trade and Industry.)

SHORT TERM BUSINESS ATTACHMENTS: The Foreign Office has opened its doors to a new breed of diplomat to provide expert support on specific projects or promotions at our Embassies and High Commissions overseas. Companies are invited to second their executives for short attachments of between 3 and 6 months to Embassies and High Commissions overseas. A section of the Overseas Trade Services web site explains this and other elements of the 'Professionalism in Trade' initiative. More...

INVEST IN BRITAIN BUREAU is the only investment agency covering the whole of the UK. It helps the world's companies to set up or expand business from a British base fast and smoothly.

TRADE UK: Why chase export leads when they can come to you? The new TradeUK web site offers an on-line directory of UK suppliers of products and services, plus an Export Sales Leads Service.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SECTIONS: Britain has a long history of excellence in scientific research and development. Dedicated sections in several British missions overseas have been established to promote and assist international scientific collaboration with Britain which is ever more important today.

EXPORT CONTROL ORGANISATION's web site offers essential and up-to-date information about export controls, via a number of official regulatory documents which are freely available to all visitors. British exporters can also obtain the latest information about which countries are subject to international arms embargoes and other national restrictions in the Summary of Government Commitments regarding the Application of Strategic Export Controls (the 'Commitments List'), available on this website. More...

DTI IN EUROPE: This website highlights the Department for Trade & Industry's work in relation to EU issues. It provides a range of information on, for example, using the euro, competition policy, exporting, working in the rest of Europe, SME aid programmes and state aids. The site demonstrates the Government's commitment to a constructive engagement in Europe and to helping UK businesses and consumers seize the opportunities available there.