The Rail Supply Group has published the Rail Sector Deal UK Exports Survey Report, setting out the key views of rail suppliers on the UK exports market.
Anna Ince, vice chairman of the Rail Supply Group, commented: “The Rail Sector Deal set out a new approach to the rail industry and government working in partnership to transform the rail sector.
“As part of its work prior to the onset of the pandemic, the Rail Supply Group sought views on what specific support and advice suppliers needed to increase exports.
“Whilst acknowledging the subsequent change in the business environment, the survey findings, which included inputs from 140 suppliers, are still relevant.
The key findings show that we need to understand more about which SMEs and larger companies are active in the rail export market, and which markets are priorities so that suppliers can gain targeted support and assistance from across industry and Government.
“Many businesses are seeking to recover or grow through increasing exports; the Sector Deal ‘Offers’ and Asks’ remain important enablers to success. “
“I would like to thank all the UK suppliers who took part in this survey, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) for hosting the survey and those companies and government officials who have worked, and are continuing to work behind the scenes, to deliver the Rail Sector Deal.”
The survey, to which 140 companies responded, revealed that:
- More than half (55%) of respondents confirmed they are currently exporting, or planning to export, or considering exporting goods or services for the railway sector from the UK;
- Current priority markets for UK rail exporters are Australia, the United States and Germany, with Australia, the United States and India identified as the top priority markets where companies believe their goods or services have potential to be exported with assistance from the rail industry and Government;
- Respondents highlighted that their products or services being UK specific was the most common reason for not exporting.
Neil Walker, exports director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), commented on the results of the survey: “The UK rail industry already exports £800 million a year in goods and services, but there is room to do so much more.
“This RSG Exports Survey is a valuable tool in understanding the key markets for rail businesses and what support they need at a critical time for the UK’s trade policy.
“The UK rail sector can play an even bigger role in achieving the Government’s export aims – RIA and our members look forward to working with the Rail Supply Group, as part of the Rail Sector Deal’s Export Pillar, to deliver even more for UK trade.”