News in brief: UKTI, Iran, restrictions, trade

News in brief
News in brief

UKTI transformed to promote British exports

A new whole-of-government approach to boosting British exports delivered through a transformed, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), focused on priority markets and sectors, has been announced by Trade Minister Lord Maude.

UKTI will be at the centre of this new approach, overseeing and co-ordinating export performance on behalf of the Cross-Government Exports Implementation Taskforce, led by Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

The new approach will include:

  • UKTI will concentrate resources on those markets and sectors in which the UK is or can be a strong competitor
  • Performance will be focused on measuring the volume and value of exports delivered
  • To increase the number of exporters, UKTI is focusing on transforming its digital service, using new technology to meet the needs of more businesses and increase cost efficiencies
  • UKTI will develop a suite of new practical and direct support products and services, based on best practice and learning from competitor countries’ export promotion agencies

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “To improve the UK’s export performance we need to get the whole of government mobilised and working towards the same goal. By putting a refocused UKTI at the centre of a co-ordinated cross-Government approach relevant departments will share expertise to get UK businesses exporting.”

Support for lifting restrictions on Iranian trade

The announcement that Iran has received extensive economic and financial sanctions relief and is able to trade more freely has been welcomed by law firm Zaiwalla & Co’s founder and senior partner, Sarosh Zaiwalla.

Zaiwalla said that the imposition of extensive sanctions and trade restrictions on Iran have crippled its economy in the past few years, particularly in the financial and energy sectors. This has significantly affected the day-to-day lives of local Iranians and their businesses, in addition to foreign companies and individuals with an interest in investing in the country.

“Iran’s reengagement with international markets has been supported by new legislation designed to attract more foreign investment into the country, removing previous restrictions on the percentage of foreign shareholding in Iran and even opening up the possibility of registering an Iranian company with 100% foreign capital. This is a particularly important development for the energy sector,” said Zaiwalla.

It is important to note, stresses Zaiwalla, that Iran is subject to a “snapback” re-imposition of the terminated sanctions in the event of significant non-performance of its joint comprehensive plan of action commitments. In addition, the majority of US sanctions preventing US persons from conducting transactions in Iran remain in place.