Department for International Trade Updates

Keep informed with the latest updates from the Department for International Trade (DIT)

The GREAT campaign, Ministry of Justice and Department for International Trade are delighted to lead a legal services sector trade mission to the UAE & Expo 2020 Dubai in November 2021. We would like to invite members of the UK legal services sector to join our delegation to the UAE between 22-26 November 2021.

This is a unique opportunity for you to meet new clients, expand your networks and take part in panel sessions, business matching meetings and private roundtables hosted by the UK Government.


Over the last year the GREAT campaign to promote legal services has undertaken virtual trade missions and conferences to Africa, and more recently the Middle East, to support the UK legal sector overseas. Whilst virtual events have brought benefits and new learnings to our campaign, we are now looking ahead to our first in-person event since the pandemic began with our visit to the UAE & Expo 2020 Dubai.

About the mission:

  • This legal services sector mission will visit the UAE from 22nd to 26th November 2021.
  • The mission delegation will be made up of UK legal professionals and will likely include a minister from the Ministry of Justice.
  • This mission will provide delegates with valuable experience, industry contacts and potential export opportunities.


  • One day of the programme will take place at the UK Pavilion (the official location for the UK’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai) with senior HMG representatives. The programme will include panel sessions, skills sharing workshops and an evening reception.
  • The programme will also provide time for business meetings and further networking opportunities, as well as other panel events, breakout sessions and tailored business development opportunities.
  • The in-market programme will be arranged and set up by the Ministry of Justice, Department for International Trade, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and sector bodies.
  • You will receive a market briefing session by the British Ambassador or chargé d'affaires, along with the DIT in-country team.
  • Please note that the above is subject to change. Additional details will be set out to the delegation in due course.

Benefits of the mission:

  • Prestigious networking receptions, company presentations and business matching meetings with businesses, local lawyers and other relevant legal professionals.
  • A mission brochure will be produced to advertise your company or services both prior to, and during, the mission.
  • You can take advantage of an optional negotiated accommodation package or make your own accommodation arrangements.

Why the UAE?

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the UK's most important trading partners and one of the fastest growing markets for UK exports. In 2018, exports to the UAE from the UK totalled more than £10.5 billion and we had a trade surplus of more than £4 billion (ONS, 2018).
  • The UAE is the UK’s 11th largest export market for legal services. There are over 40 UK law firms based in the region with an estimated 900 plus English & Welsh solicitors and 70+ Scottish solicitors practising in the UAE on a permanent basis.
  • Dubai is a regional hub and commercial capital for the Middle East, North Africa and beyond with associated international dispute resolution facilities on in the DIFC applying the common law and offering practice rights to UK practitioners. Nearby Abu Dhabi has more recently established its Global Markets Court on similar lines.

For more information, view the exporting to the UAE country guide.


In order to take part in the delegation, your company/firm/chamber must meet the following qualifications:

  • headquartered in the UK;
    have a strong interest in the UAE market or Middle Eastern markets, and the bandwidth to service Middle Eastern clients.
  • be a qualified legal practitioner.

To note: Whilst we accept multiple applications from each company/ firm/chamber we will only be selecting one representative from each to join the delegation.


  • You will need to book and pay for flights, hotels and in market subsistence and travel.
  • There is no fee to be part of the delegation or take part in the mission. All costs related to the programme will be covered by the UK government.


If this trade mission is of interest to you, please complete our short application form by Friday 10th September 2021.

Apply now to be on the trade mission delegation

We look forward to receiving your application.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email [email protected]

LATAC Forward Look July 2021

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Trade deals are again high on the agenda. On 22nd June, the UK launched formal accession negotiations to join The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

CPTTP is particularly advanced in both digital and services trade, which plays to Britain’s strengths as the world’s second-largest services exporter. UK accession will benefit our economies, including Chile’s, Mexico’s and Peru’s by increasing trade and investment opportunities to help recover and build back from the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the UK and in Latin America. You can find the document detailing the UK’s strategic approach to joining CPTPP available here.

The following calls are still open, don’t miss your chance and one new item to share:

  • Please find the link to the consultation page for the forthcoming Mexico trade agreement- this is a great opportunity for UK businesses to put forward their position, challenges and future needs. Thinking about how Mexico can be used for nearshoring across multiple sectors; make this a choice moment. The deadline is 12th July.
  • DIT in partnership with Vale, is hosting a Virtual Meet the Buyer to introduce UK businesses to their Powershift Project in Brazil. Vale [mining sector] is especially interested in partners for their Pelletizing Process Stage (induration furnace), deadline 11th July.

Times remain challenging for colleagues and partners based across LATAC and we do all we can to support and monitor the situation. In spite of this, our team remains dedicated to championing UK-LATAC trade, and for July are pushing through before the expected lull for the UK summer holidays. Please note that the listings below are all in UK time, some are delivered by DIT, those hosted outside of DIT may incur a fee:

  • 7th July, 4pm, Webcast, Peru: Forestry (reforestation, afforestation and revegetation). As part of the Government to Government umbrella between UK-Peru. Broadcast in Spanish: Facebook Broadcast in English: Youtube
  • 15th July, Cybersecurity solutions for the banking sector [Argentina and wider LATAM] Contact the organiser Sonia Aponte
  • 22nd July, 2pm, Webinar, FinTech solutions: Chile. Contact the organiser Barbara Hollyhead
  • 27th July, Meet the Buyer: CyberSecurity Stakeholders Brazil. Contact the organiser Carlos Lima

Don’t forget that you can view all these and more on our dedicated page for LATAC events:

Update June 2021

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Update June 2021

DIT national survey of registered businesses' exporting behaviours, attitudes and needs 2020 was published this month.

The National Survey of Registered Businesses (NSRB) is commissioned by the Department for International Trade (DIT) to monitor businesses’ exporting behaviours, plans, capabilities and attitudes.

Findings include:

The NSRB allocates businesses into one of 4 segments that reflect their exporting behaviour. In 2020, the proportions of businesses falling into each segment were very similar to previous waves.

In 2020:

  • a third of businesses (34%) had exported either goods or services in the past 12 months and therefore fell into the ‘Sustain’ segment
  • a further 6% were either lapsed or intermittent exporters, who had not exported in the past 12 months but had done previously. These made up the ‘Reassure’ segment
  • around one in 7 businesses (15%) were in the Promote segment. This means they had never exported but had goods or services either suitable for export or could be developed for export.

Partners Update March 2021

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Partners Update March 2021

You may have noticed that UKEF recently launched the Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee which covers a loan to an overseas buyer to finance the purchase of capital goods, services and/or intangibles from a UK supplier.

The Export Academy currently supports businesses in the North of England, Midlands, and the South West with up to £500,000 turnover with expert advice to grow internationally.

We have produced an Export Academy Partner and Stakeholder Toolkit for Partners to use in support of any promotional activity on the Export Academy programme.

Top Takeaways

Round 4 of our negotiations with Australia have concluded positively

Agreement reached with US to suspend trade tariffs for the next 4 months

Launched Global Britain, Local Jobs report with the Board of Trade. Access the report here

Budget 2021

  • New Economic Decision-Making Campus will be based in Darlington. This will increase DIT’s presence in the north of England and bring staff closer to the communities and businesses we serve.
  • As part of Government's objective of attracting highly skilled, globally mobile talent, DIT received a £1 million increase in funding for 2021-22 for the Global Entrepreneurship Programme.
  • The Chancellor’s Plan for Growth captures DIT programmes and support for business, including our Free Trade Agreement Programme, our work at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and G7, the Office for Investment, and the importance of trade and investment led recovery.
  • The Plan for Growth sets out how UKEF’s new lending capacity and products will help large and small exporters achieve international success.
  • The first 8 Freeport locations in England have been announced. Freeports will attract new business, spread jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities across the country.
  • A full rundown of the things you need to know about the Budget can be found here.

UK’s Largest Virtual Trade Mission

  • Minister Stuart launched the UK’s largest ever virtual trade mission on 2 March.

Additional information about the UK-Japan FTA Implementation Campaign – Spring Mission is below – please feel free to share this with your clients.

Wider business support

These resources and tools are available to help businesses navigate our new trading environment:

Championing Trade - upcoming events

A full calendar of DIT and global trade events can be found here.

BCC welcomes new rules on international travel restrictions

The decision to simplify the traffic light system in England will be very welcome news for businesses in the travel sector and beyond.  

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Business will be frustrated by the inability of the Government to give them any detail around what circumstances could lead to new restrictions and what support firms could get.

BCC welcomes delay to import checks but says much more work is needed

Announcement of a delay is sensible given the ongoing issues with ensuring trader readiness, the need to build more border control posts and the skills shortages crisis.

BCC: Firms facing acute hiring crisis

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