Alistair Burt MP: UK working across the globe

As the UK economy picks up, meaning more jobs and business all round, spare a thought for those whose job it is to promote the UK abroad and bring still more work to Bedfordshire and beyond.

Tuesday, 13th August 2013, 8:58 am
North-East Beds MP Alistair Burt with the Ambassador to Jordan Peter Millett

The news this week that our embassy in Yemen is temporarily closing because of a threat of attack is a reminder that, although rare, those working for us abroad are sometimes asked to go to some difficult places.

But wherever they are, they now carry a greater determination than ever to be on the lookout for business and prosperity opportunities.

This Government set a target, for example, of doubling our trade with Gulf countries from 2009 to 2015. I have overseen a group of ministers and departments to deliver this.

Increasing the emphasis on our trade teams in embassies, using opportunities like the Olympics to drive a campaign based on what is great in Great Britain, we are well on the way.

Even in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan there are companies from the UK getting work on infrastructure and security, and there is more room for small businesses to benefit as part of the supply chain.

If you even think that where you work might have something to offer any market abroad, the UK’s stock has rarely been higher all over the world, the English language is becoming the language of choice in ever more places and I hope you will be better served by UKTI and our embassies than ever before. Your chance is now.

The UK is doing many other things abroad, and politics and diplomacy in many places call for the highest skills. They are constantly aware of their role in promoting our prosperity wherever they may be.