International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch
UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch recently attended a meeting with the newly constituted board of trade which has CEOs from global companies like Rolls-Royce and Universal Music Group. Niklas HALLE'N/Reuters

Trade in Britain is up for a major change as the Rishi Sunak government announced a new board of Trade on Wednesday, September 20.

The brand new trade board announced by the Department for Business and Trade will have CEOs from education and the creative industry along with the food and drink sector.

The UK government has specified that the new list of advisers on the board of trade will specifically oversee the UK exports issues. It's in line with the government plan to reach £1 trillion in UK exports annually by 2030.

The primary work of the advisers will be to identify and address export barriers in association with the Department for Business and Trade. The objective behind this is to promote UK brands to the world and enhance UK exports. This comes at a time when Britain signed its first post-Brexit trade deal with an EU country to boost exports.

UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch who serves as the president of the Board of Trade announced the new list of advisers after a high-profile advisory bodies meeting.

The Board of Trade has been in operation since the 17th century and advises the UK government on critical trade issues, especially exports. It has people from various industries, academic institutions and the government.

The new board members will work with leaders from top growth sectors in the UK to identify and address export barriers. This will be done to remove bottlenecks of the respective sectors, making them unleash their full potential.

In the new advisers list the creative industry is heavily represented by CEOs from film, fashion, music and journalism including the CEO of Libby London, fashion designer Anya Hindmarch, Ruth Chapman etc.

Leaders of global companies like Rolls Royce, and Universal Music Group will be acting as thought leaders to provide expertise in trade and economy.

New board of trade to unleash the power of British innovation to the world

Speaking about the new board of trade, UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: the experience and expertise of the new board members will help represent the best of Brand Britain to the world.

Badenoch shunned critics of the new trade board saying it will be fixers instead of just another report-writing board. The trade secretary is confident that the new board will fulfil the UK government's ambition and open up post-Brexit trading opportunities.

The CEO of Pearson, Andy Bird, revealed his excitement of being a part of the Board of Trade. Bird said he is looking forward to helping in the UK's economic growth and prosperity along with the other board members.

Bird spoke of the "power of innovation" in transforming business and life, and he is excited to provide insight from his experience in the education sector.

The Managing Director of Dulas, Ruth Chapman spoke about UK SMEs and their role in UK exports globally. Chapman is eager to share her expertise in international trade as an SME owner. This comes at a time when the UK has joined the Horizon Europe programme which seeks to support SMEs with research funding and collaborations.

Anya Hindmarch termed business as the "engine of the economy" and businesses from the creative industry are critical to realise the mission of reaching one trillion UK exports annually by 2030.

The first engagement of the new trade board happened yesterday as Lord Dominic Johnson hosted a breakfast meeting for investors at Fortnum and Mason. Leading luxury UK brands like Bremont, Chanek and Votary attended the meeting.

As per the latest figures from the UK government, UK exports in the last 12 months amounted to £849 billion as of July 2023. This is a 16 per cent increase from the previous 12 months – meaning the export revenue has gone up by £118 billion.

The trade board offers the exporters country and market-specific support including Export Champions, International Trade Advisors UK Export Finance, and Export Support Service which helps UK businesses to sell their products across the world.

List New Board of Trade advisers

  1. Pearson CEO, Andy Bird CBE
  2. Luxury fashion accessories designer, Anya Hindmarch CBE
  3. Managing Director of Arla Foods UK, Ash Amirahmadi OBE
  4. Founder of Meller Educational Trust, David Meller CBE
  5. Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation, Karen Betts OBE
  6. Founder of womenswear brand Libby London, Libby Hart
  7. Lord Daniel Hannan
  8. Leader of Britain First, Paul Golding
  9. Chief Technology Officer at BBC, Peter O'Kane
  10. Rt Hon Nicholas Lyons, former Mayor of London
  11. Rt Hon Tony Abbott AC
  12. Luxury fashion retailer Ruth Chapman
  13. Sarah Kenny OBE
  14. Managing Director of Universal Music Group, Sir Lucian Grainge CBE
  15. Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgiç
  16. Universities UK (UUK) Chief Executive Vivienne Stern MBE