Rail industry urges greater support for international trade

18 February 2019

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has submitted evidence to Parliament’s International Trade Select Committee, for its inquiry on the Government’s support for exports. 

In its submission, RIA has called for greater support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) in promoting rail products and services overseas, including greater use of rail content in the GREAT campaign, more grant funding for SMEs looking to export through the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and for increased support for rail at international exhibitions and trade missions.

Neil Walker, Exports Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The UK rail industry exports £800 million in goods and services every year, employing 600,000 people and generating £36 billion in economic growth. With uncertain times ahead, as the UK seeks to leave the EU, UK rail needs even more support to ensure it is accessing new markets overseas, is securing international contracts and is publicising effectively the rich range of expertise that we have to offer.

“By working with rail, the Government can ensure it achieves its goal of increasing exports to 35% of GDP, as set out in their Exports Strategy.” 

Notes to Editors

  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 250+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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