News in brief: FSB, trade gap, social investment

News in brief
News in brief

FSB concerned the UK could miss its trade target

Trade data for January has shown a slight decrease in the UK’s trade deficit. Federation of Small Businesses policy director Mike Cherry claims that the strong pound, economic difficulties in the Eurozone and weakening demand from China have been big challenges for those businesses exporting and that depressed oil prices continue to hit the cost of oil imports.

Cherry said: “But there is still a great deal of opportunity to provide support for exporters which must not be missed. Recent FSB research shows that 32% of those members who export say that finding customers is a key challenge.”

At £3.5 billion, the size of the trade gap suggests the government is going to find it difficult to meet its target to increase the value of exports to £1 trillion and support 100,000 new exporters by 2020, according to Cherry.

Government plans to make the UK a global social investment hub

The government is publishing two strategies outlining its plans for social investment in the UK and overseas.

Social investment uses private capital to generate social as well as financial returns. It helps social sector organisations do more by providing the capital they need to provide their services, grow or become more sustainable.

Two new strategies will set out the government’s plans to use social investment to transform public services, develop the social economy, and to strengthen the UK’s social investment market.

Read the domestic strategy.

The international strategy sets out for the first time how government plans to develop the UK as a global hub for social investment.

Read the international strategy.