The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has launched a new community in which British manufacturers can join their peers and fellow trade professionals to share practical advice and hear expert insights to become better able to succeed in international markets. 

The new special interest group (SIG) for the sector will convene for the first time at a virtual event on 21 November where an expert panel will discuss ‘The Future of UK Manufacturing in a Global World’.

After that event, the group will meet four times a year – three times virtually and once in person – and members will receive exclusive insights and guidance from industry experts digitally throughout the rest of the year. 

A boost 

The IOE&IT launched the group today (28 September) to coincide with National Manufacturing Day in a move that has been welcomed by the minister for industry and economic security Nusrat Ghani as a move that will “boost manufacturing growth”.

Ghani said:

“The manufacturing sector plays a vital role in our economy, contributing £224bn in gross value added in 2022, directly supporting 2.6m jobs and driving innovation and exports, and this new initiative from IOE&IT will help boost manufacturing growth even further.

“We’re determined to provide UK manufacturers with the cutting-edge over our competitors, which is why we have developed our Critical Minerals Refresh and upcoming Critical Imports and Supply Chains strategy to help stimulate growth and ensure we can continue to land investment wins.”

MSME Support Package

The new SIG forms part of a broader package of support the IOE&IT is launching for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the sector to help them sell their goods and services internationally.

The ‘MSME Support Package’ also includes a series of free webinars and guides about the challenges faced by exporters in the manufacturing sector, with businesses encouraged to sign up to membership at the IOE&IT to benefit from other services such as access to its technical trade helpline. Individuals and businesses will need to be members of the IOE&IT to take advantage of the new SIG.

Overtaking Italy

IOE&IT director general, Marco Forgione, says the new package is being launched to support the UK to “overtake Italy as the world’s eighth largest manufacturing nation”.

Manufacturing trade association Make UK recently published data that showed that the UK has overtaken France to become the world’s eighth largest manufacturing nation, but is still behind Germany (4th) and Italy (7th) within Europe.

Make UK argues that if the British government succeeds in its target of getting manufacturing to represent 15% of total GDP, the country could overtake Italy in the world rankings.


Forgione said of this ambition:

“The UK is already one of the world’s leading manufacturing countries – both in the goods it makes and the advanced manufacturing services it delivers.

“However, encouraging more MSMEs in the sector to trade internationally can provide the impetus needed to reach the UK’s goals of making manufacturing count for 15% of total UK GDP, thereby helping the country to remain above France and to overtake Italy to become Europe’s second largest manufacturer.

“This is because businesses that export have been found to contribute more to the economy, delivering both growth and jobs. It’s for this reason that IOE&IT is launching this new support package and SIG to help more MSMEs in the manufacturing sector to succeed internationally.”

More information

To find out more information about the new package of support, including the new SIG, please visit:

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