The UK Government established the Department for International Trade (“DIT”) following the vote to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016, with Liam Fox appointed as the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade. The DIT replaced UK Trade and Investment in July 2016.

The Department is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring that the UK is able to forge new trade relationships once it has left the EU. Broadly, the DIT is responsible for:

  • developing, coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy to promote UK business across the globe;
  • developing and negotiating free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries;
  • negotiating plurilateral trade deals (focused on specific sector or products); and
  • providing operational support for exports and facilitating inward outward investment.

The DIT has teams working in the United States, South Africa and Canada to promote international trade.

The Department offers its services to UK companies looking to export and grow into global markets, as well as helping overseas companies locate and grow in the UK. Initially, the information will be for investors from China, Germany, India and the USA, with more countries and sectors being added throughout 2017.

Early this year, the DIT will be launching a ‘Find a supplier service’ for overseas buyers to connect with export-ready UK business. It also provides a matching service where UK businesses can explore partnership opportunities.