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Exeter working with Cole Commission to improve international trade

The Cole Commission is in discussions with the University of Exeter Business School to explore the possibility of creating degree programmes specialising in international trade.

This announcement coincides with the release of the Commission’s final report into the UK’s export performance, setting out a road map to help business achieve £1tn of exports by 2020. Building on the extensive findings of the Commission over the course of the past year, the final report sets out an action plan from business on how Government can achieve a step change in British exports performance.  

Turning around exports is a huge task and the Commission welcomes the steps taken by the new Government to enhance the leadership and focus on exports. However, business has been explicit that we must not underestimate the scale of the challenge. That is why the Commission, in its final report, has chosen to publish an action plan with five clear priority areas and a timetable for implementation with targets for 3 months, 1 year or 5 years.

Professor Robin Mason, Dean, University of Exeter Business School said: “We are delighted to have been selected to explore the possibility of creating this new degree which could, over time, help to increase the competitiveness of the UK. The Business School has extensive expertise in international business, trade and exports, with significant international partnerships, faculty from 29 countries and students from 112 countries. So it is very well placed to be able to develop this initiative.”

Graham Cole, Chair of the Commission, stated: “On exports the clock is ticking and the world isn’t waiting. Business has told us what it wants, when it wants it and how it wants it. That is why we are publishing an action plan from business with five clear priority action areas to ensure British business is in the strongest possible position to compete on the global stage. On education, it is no accident that countries that do more for their foreign students and embrace languages are leading the way.

“As the most extensive independent business review of exports in recent years, with over 100 submissions and 12 roundtables, the final report makes a number of broader recommendations as part of its action plan. It is now up to the Government to consider and then provide a response. We recognise that whilst some of the changes are short term there are no quick fixes.  We sincerely hope that parties of all colours will back the views of business, get behind the recommendations and stay the course. “


Date: 24 June 2015

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