Britain's export performance may be dismal over the last 2 years but Europe can help - Mark Cliffe
Britain's export performance has been poor but government seeking £1 trillion level by 2020 Reuters

UK manufacturer group EEF has signed a deal with the UK government trade body, UKTI, in an attempt to boost exports and attract foreign investors to British shores.

British exports have dried up in recent months, amid the ongoing geopolitical crisis over Ukraine and the economic slump in the eurozone.

According to a report from the Confederation of British Industry, firms were reporting a fall in overseas demand during September compared to the previous year, slumping to its lowest level since the start of 2013.

In the CBI report, only 24% of firms said their orders were above normal, while 28% said their order books were below normal levels.

The new agreement brings EEF on board with UKTI's efforts to increase exports to £1tn ($1.6tn, €1.3tn) by 2020, in line with government targets.

Jim Davison, EEF's London and South East director, said the deal should boost British companies seeking to increase their global footprint.

"Improving our export performance is key to helping Britain achieve the better-balanced economy needed to deliver long-term stability and growth," he said in an emailed statement.

"We will now work together to ensure that manufacturers are aware of the support it provides in finding new markets overseas, as well as smoothing the way for new exporters."

UKTI's chief executive officer Dominic Jeremy said he was "delighted to be working closer with British manufacturers through EEF to drive towards sustainable economic growth through exports," describing the partnership as a positive step towards the £1tn export goal.