Board of Trade (UK)

Board of Trade (UK) is a British governmental body responsible for promoting international trade, supporting businesses, and ensuring the country’s trade policies and agreements benefit the national economy.
Updated: Jun 3, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • The Board of Trade focuses on fostering international trade relationships, negotiating trade agreements, and providing support to UK businesses to expand globally.
  • It works closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to develop and implement trade policies and strategies that enhance the UK’s trade competitiveness.
  • The Board includes experienced business leaders and trade experts who advise on trade issues and help shape policies to drive economic growth.

What is the Board of Trade?

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The Board of Trade in the United Kingdom is a governmental body with a long history dating back to the 17th century. Its primary role is to promote international trade and investment, support UK businesses in global markets, and advise the government on trade policy. The Board operates under the Department for International Trade (DIT), which is responsible for securing trade agreements, promoting UK exports, and attracting foreign investment.

Key Functions

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  • Trade Promotion: Enhancing the UK’s trade performance by supporting businesses in exporting their products and services.
  • Policy Development: Advising on and formulating trade policies to ensure they align with the UK’s economic goals.
  • Trade Agreements: Negotiating and implementing trade agreements with other countries to facilitate smoother and more beneficial trade relationships.
  • Business Support: Providing resources, advice, and financial support to UK businesses looking to expand internationally.

Real world application

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The Board of Trade plays a vital role in the UK’s economic landscape, influencing trade policies and supporting businesses. Here are some practical applications and examples:

International Trade Agreements

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  • Trade Negotiations: The Board of Trade is involved in negotiating trade agreements with other countries, ensuring that these agreements benefit UK businesses and the economy. For example, post-Brexit, the Board has been crucial in establishing new trade deals with countries around the world.
  • Tariff Reductions: Working to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers, making it easier and more cost-effective for UK businesses to export their goods and services.

Business Support and Export Promotion

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  • Export Advice: Providing advice and support to UK businesses on how to enter and succeed in international markets. This includes information on market opportunities, trade regulations, and export financing.
  • Trade Missions: Organizing trade missions and exhibitions to help UK businesses showcase their products and services abroad, facilitating connections with potential buyers and partners.

Advisory Role

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  • Expert Panels: The Board of Trade includes panels of experienced business leaders and trade experts who provide insights and recommendations on trade issues. This ensures that the government’s trade policies are informed by real-world business experience.
  • Policy Shaping: Advising the government on trade policy and economic strategy to enhance the UK’s global trade position.

Example Initiatives

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  • Global Britain: An initiative to promote the UK as a leading global trade partner, post-Brexit. The Board of Trade plays a key role in this strategy by supporting businesses in accessing new markets and establishing strong trade relationships.
  • Freeports: Advising on the development of Freeports, which are special economic zones with tax and customs benefits to encourage trade and investment.

Sources & references
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