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UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
Type UK Government
Founded May 1999 (as British Trade International)
Founder(s) FCO and DTI
Headquarters London and Glasgow
Key people Lord Evan Mervyn Davies CBE (Minister of State for Trade & Investment), Sir Andrew Cahn (CEO), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (Special Representative)
Products Export advice and Inward Investment support

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the UK Government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. Its range of services are tailored to the needs of individual businesses to maximise their international success. It provides companies with knowledge, advice and practical support.



It was formed in May 1999 as British Trade International, comprising two parts: Trade Partners UK (for export) and Invest UK (for inward investment - FDI). It is a department that reports jointly to the Foreign Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In October 2003, the former department name and two inner departments merged and became UK Trade & Investment to simplify the outward recognition of the organisation, and possibly to reduce confusion with the two departments.


To support its aim to "enhance the competitiveness of companies in the UK through overseas trade and investments; and attract a continuing high level of quality foreign direct investment".

UK Trade & Investment offers services to UK based firms wanting to gain access to global markets through export, and foreign based firms wanting to use the UK as a base to expand globally.


Knowledge Economy

The overlying aim of the organisation is to enhance the knowledge economy of the UK, and capitalise on the UK's intellectual assets via the export market. This is done by sourcing international markets for products developed through UK intellectual property. Suppliers of UK high-technology products receive commercial assistance from UKTI to sell their products in overseas markets they are unfamiliar with. The six commercial areas it is most interested in are Financial Services, Creative Industries, Life Sciences, ICT, Energy, and Advanced Engineering. It is not dissimilar to what knowledge transfer achieves except on a more global scale.


UK Trade & Investment is an international organisation with headquarters in London and Glasgow. Across its network UK Trade & Investment employs around 2,300 staff and advisers, including overseas in UK Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates and trade offices, and in the nine English regions.

Business and University leaders work with UKTI as "Business Ambassadors". They promote the UK internationally and highlight trade and investment opportunities. They focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which sometimes face greater barriers to accessing global markets than larger businesses.

UK Trade & Investment brings together the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It draws staff and associated administration funding from both parent departments, but has its own stream of programme funding, for which the Chief Executive is directly responsible as accounting officer.


UKTI: Defence & Security Organisation

The three UKTI Defence & Security Organisation Regional Directorates (RD) offer assistance and advice on specific markets and prospects, co-ordinate Government support and provide a single point of contact for customer countries.

  • RD Central covers the Middle East, South and Central Asia and Africa
  • RD East covers the Far East and Australasia
  • RD West covers Europe, the Americas and Russia

The Business Development Directorate includes a team which carries out market analysis of the global defence export market, a team which provides specialised support for Small and Medium sized Enterprises and a team which co-ordinates participation in UK and overseas defence and security exhibitions.There is also a team responsible for implementing MoD's Industrial Participation policy.

The Security Directorate provides support for defence and civil companies in the security sector. Military Advice

UKTI Defence & Security Organisation’s military staff provide advice and support on military doctrine, equipment and services. All have experience gained in operational environments.


Royal Navy – UKTI Defence & Security Organisation has specialists in Above Water Warfare, Under Water Warfare, Naval Aviation, Engineering, Logistics and Support.

In coordination with the fleet programme, the RN team sponsors Defence Industry Days (DID) and Private Company Visits (PCV) around the world. On board a visiting RN ship, UK companies can display their products to foreign guests, including politicians, senior military officers and procurement decision makers.


Army – UKTI Defence & Security Organisation Army officers currently represent a range of different capabilities, experience and skills.

The Export Support Team (EST) is made up of serving military personnel across a number of capbadges with a wide range of experience. These personnel provide demonstrations of in-service equipment, but can also work in support of companies marketing other UK products with an export potential.


Royal Air Force – RAF officers in UKTI Defence & Security Organisation cover the full spectrum of offensive and defensive air systems, together with Logistics, Training and Simulations, Electronic Warfare, Information and Surveillance and C4I. They deploy in support of marketing campaigns and coordinate Service support to air systems evaluations and flying displays.


External links

Social media presence


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