DIT SML AW inpartnershipDepartment for International Trade
All the functions of the DIT are now the responsibility of Department for International Trade which has replaced that department. Many of the UKTI web site links are being re-directed accordingly.  However, the change is still in process.  We trust that the links below will still work.  If you come across any broken links please contact us.

The organisation is designed to help UK businesses export and grow overseas and therefore it should be the first organisation to contact. The organisation operates nationally, internationally and regionally through a network of advisers. The BFM would strongly urge you to use DIT services,  Below, we detail just some of the help on offer.

The BFM is a trade challenge partner withe DIT and as such we are working in partnership with DIT to help promote its services and deliver success for the furniture manufacturing sector in overseas markets.  The DIT works with over 100 Trade Challenge Partners and has a collective membership of around 70,000.

UKTI Advice and support

Preparing to Trade – Your local export adviser can help you to assess your firm’s needs and plan for sustainable success in your chosen market. You can also access advice on the linguistic and cultural challenges of operating overseas.

International Trade Advisers can provide impartial advice on all aspects of international trade as can a network of Regional Support Centres in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For those New to Export the DIT has set up a variety of initiatives which will check your potential for export and take you through the mechanics. 

UK Trade & Investment’ will provide planning and the ongoing support you need to begin an export operation. 

The DIT also caters for those who are Experienced in Export wishing to enhance their capabilities and develop new markets as well as those who wish to concentrate resources to Exporting Online. 

By joining DIT’s e-Exporting Programme, UK retailers and brands can reach consumers overseas through e-marketplaces.

The e-marketplace is an online location that provides a platform for retailers of all sizes to do business through e-commerce. Popular e-marketplaces include Amazon, Tmall and eBay. DIT have identified over 400 e-marketplaces worldwide. Open to Export provide help with e-commerce. 

Open to Export is a free online service designed to provide a single source of advice, information and intelligence for UK exporters seeking help. It enables them to get feedback directly and quickly from government organisations and the business community, including existing exporters, and relevant service providers such as lawyers, accountants and, of course, trade associations. More and more businesses are turning to the website to get answers to their exporting issues.

The Preparing to Export Programme takes you through 10 key steps to developing an export plan and is supported by Passport to Export designed to improve capabilities with support tailored to company need.  The whole programme is accompanied by numerous videos and case studies.

In addition, an Export Communications Review is avialable which will enable you to find out how your business can be helped.

Benefits of exporting

The DIT has published an excellent guide based on researh to the benefits of exporting entitled Bringing home the benefits:- How to grow through exporting.

To quote the DIT - 'Growth through export Perhaps the most compelling result of our research is the extent to which doing business overseas can not only lead directly to growth, but also to improvements in effi ciency levels and to fostering ideas for new products and services......

  • 85 per cent said exporting led to a ‘level of growth not otherwise possible’
  • 87 per cent said exporting had signifi cantly improved their profi le or credibility
  • 78 per cent said exporting had given them exposure to new ideas
  • 73 per cent said exporting had increased the commercial lifespan of products or services
  • 70 per cent said they had developed or modifi ed a product or service due to doing business abroad'

Information and opportunities

Opportunities – Sales leads are the lifeblood of any business.  You can register for opportunities to be sent to you by e-mail for your particular sector.  

The DIT through the Export Market Research Scheme (EMRS) will provide free advice on how to carry out market research into new markets although the DIT does not conduct the research itself.  However, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) may be eligible for a grant of up to 50% if their research project is accepted by the DIT and it could include the purchase of a pre-existing market report. There are a number of organisations providing country and sector specific advice and there are easily found through web search engines.

The type of information you will need to cover in a market research project includes:

  • Market size and segmentation
  • Regulations and legislation
  • Customer needs, usage and attitudes
  • Predicted demand
  • Distribution channels
  • Trends
  • Competitor activity, strategy and performance
  • Any modifications required to your product to better suit the market

Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) — through this service the DIT facilitates the use of the services of UK trade teams, located in British Embassies and High Commissions & Consulates across the world. Typically this will involve either a detailed written report into opportunities that exist or an actual visit to the overseas market that you are targeting and appointments will be made with potential clients. OMIS services are priced depending on the individual request.

A service package could include:

  • Market, sector advice
  • Analysis of market entry strategies
  • Support during overseas visits
  • Identification of possible business partners

To establish British involvement in a particular country including any specific business arrangements and the UK government provide such a Country Resource.

Events, Missions & Webinars

Training Events and webinars are a Regular Feature of DIT Support Services. 

Events & webinars are some of the most effective ways offered to support companies that are looking for trade opportunities and that are undergoing periods of transition. The DIT calendar of events has some 400 core events and missions, and 1000 opportunities across the TAP "Trade Access Programme".  The BFM is TAP accredited for furniture events in Milan and Moscow. Webinars (see link above) are run regularly and we would strongly urge you to take advantage of them in support of your exporting activities and development.     

2017 show - 4th to 9th April 2017
The dates for the next ‘Salone del Mobile’ 2017 in Milan have been announced as April 4th to 9th and if you would like to register your interest in this event or would like to discuss this further, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

BCFA - British Contract Furniture Association - see here for events in Dubai, Mumbai, Jeddah, Shanghai

BHETA - British Home Enhancement Trade Association - see calendar and reports for events in Frankfurt, Chicago & Cologne.

Crafts Council - for events in for events in South Korea and Dubai

The full schedule of events may be found at TAP "Trade Access Programme" web site.

Export finance and insurance

UK Export Finance (also known as the Export Credits Guarantee Department) is the UK’s official export credit agency.

It helps UK exporters by ‘underwriting’ bank loans offered to overseas buyers of UK products and services. This means it takes on the risk of the loan from the bank, so that the bank is more likely to offer it.

It can also help exporters to:

  • raise tender and contract bonds
  • access working capital finance
  • secure confirmations of letters of credit


Here is just a selection of videos on export produced by the DIT.

VIDEO - How UKTI helps UK companies export

VIDEO - UKTI – Selection of videos

VIDEO - UKTI - Localising international websites for foreign target markets

VIDEO - UKTI - Effective social media marketing

Useful links

First class export advice