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PM response to Linkedin small businesses

David Cameron responded to comments by Linkedin users on 6 December 2011:

“My thanks to everyone for their comments on this question – there have been some great ideas from this thread. Exporting is one of the key ways in which the Britain’s economy will grow over the next few years. More importantly for you, in an uncertain economic climate, exporting is a great way to improve your company’s prospects and diversify and expand your customer base.

“There have been a lot of comments about regulation.  We are changing our regulatory culture. Our starting point is that all existing regulations should go unless there is a good reason for them to stay. It’s a big job but we are making progress. Over 50% of the regulations we’ve looked at so far are going to be removed or simplified. And we’ve introduced a one in-one out process so that any Minister who wants to bring in a new UK regulation has to get rid of one.

You can take part in this process by visiting the Red Tape Challenge website.

“Quite a few of you have spoken about UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) – many positive, others more critical.  UKTI does need to make changes – it needs to be more focused around the needs of small and mid-sized businesses, and it needs to be much more connected into high value business opportunities overseas.  That is what we are doing. In the Autumn Statement, we announced that UKTI would put a much stronger focus around both small and mid-sized businesses, and allocated £45m of funding to enable them to do so.

“On trade delegations, I agree that these cannot just be for blue chips.  We will make sure that small and mid-sized companies get invited as well – there are big opportunities on overseas trips for the larger companies to help the smaller companies.

“We need to encourage British companies to look at high growth markets like India and China and to generate higher demand for British products – so we have developed the Great campaign. Great embodies Britain’s strengths and reminds international investors and buyers about Britain’s credentials in manufacturing, entrepreneurship and innovation. UKTI will use the Great campaign to champion these strengths in the top export and investment market.

“And of course the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a once in life-time opportunity to showcase Great Britain; to champion British companies that have successfully delivered the Games – the engineers, the caterers, the event management companies, the designers, the security companies, the legal teams – to deliver for future major global events.

“If the number of British businesses that export rises from around 1 in 5 to over 1 in 4, then we could pretty much wipe out the trade deficit and create about 100,000 jobs.  So that’s what we need to do.  I am delighted that we have a top business leader in Stephen Green, who is really focused on making that happen.  But we are not going to do this overnight and we can’t do it alone.

“We need businesses like yours to step up to the challenge, supported by your advisers – banks, legal and accountancy firms, trade associations, chambers of commerce – in order to make it happen.”