UK Trade and Investment

UK Trade & Investment
Welsh: Masnach a Buddsoddiad y DU
Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed October 2003 (2003-10)
Preceding Non-ministerial government department British Trade International
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET
Employees 2,331
Annual budget £270 million (2009-2010)[1]
Minister responsible Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister of State for Trade & Investment
Non-ministerial government department executive Nick Baird, Chief Executive
Parent department Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is a UK Government department working with businesses based in the United Kingdom to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice .[2]


UKTI was formed in May 1999 as British Trade International, comprising two parts: Trade Partners UK (for export) and Invest UK (for inward investment - FDI). In October 2003, the former department name and two inner departments merged and became UK Trade & Investment to simplify the outward recognition of the organisation, and possibly to reduce confusion with the two departments. UKTI reports jointly to the Foreign Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


To support its aim to "enhance the competitiveness of companies in Britain through overseas trade and investments; and attract a continuing high level of quality foreign direct investment".

UK Trade & Investment offers services to English businesses wanting to gain access to global markets through export, and foreign based firms wanting to invest in the UK as a base to expand globally. Under agreement Trade & Investment organisations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively Scottish Development International, Wales Government, Invest Northern Ireland are able to access UKTI services and provide support for those companies who are located in their individual countries.


UK Trade & Investment is an international organisation with headquarters in London and Glasgow in Scotland. Across its network UK Trade & Investment employs around 2,400 staff and advisers, including overseas in British Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates and trade offices, and regional offices in the nine English regions [3]

The delivery of many UKTI regional services within the United Kingdom is contracted out to other organisations. Traditionally this was a role played by the local Chamber of Commerce, but more recently contracts have been awarded to "bodies which are closer to government." The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) argued that the effect of this change was to "take trade services from a single roof which employers knew and understood [and] spread them among many different organisations." In Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, UKTI regional services are now delivered by Serco, which also provides services to local government and the private sector in the following areas: home affairs, defence, science, nuclear, health, education, welfare to work, and IT.[4] In China, the China Britain Business Council, another private body, is the provider.

Business and University leaders work with UKTI as "Business Ambassadors". They promote the UK internationally and highlight trade and investment opportunities. They focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which sometimes face greater barriers to accessing global markets than larger businesses.

UK Trade & Investment brings together the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It draws staff and associated administration funding from both parent departments, but has its own stream of programme funding, for which the Chief Executive is directly responsible as accounting officer. The UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment works as part of UKTI to promote British business and produce.

UK Trade & Investment has Public Private Partnership agreements with the Federation of International Trade Associations under which they contribute market research and other reports on[5]

UK Trade & Investment has an arms trade branch called UKTI DSO (UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation).[6]



External links

  • UKTI website
  • India UK trade and Investment corridor
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