Potential jobs boost as Government announces plans to back UK retailers' global growth aims

Employment could be boosted after the Government announced plans to back British retailers' proposed expansion into growing and thriving overseas markets.

The UK Retail Industry International Action Plan has been announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Figures from the retail industry developed the action plan in association with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Globally, the retail sector has done well in the past few years, managing to record a compound yearly growth rate of 7%. It is expected that sales will be boosted by 8% yearly until 2016, according to the Government.

Mr Cable said: "The retail industry is a significant contributor to the UK economy, employing more than three million people and generating 300 billion for our economy. British brands have a deservedly world class reputation for sustainability, quality and innovation.

"The UK's dominance in e-commerce puts retailers in a world-beating position to capitalise on the fast-growing demand for British goods and luxury brands. As we rebalance the economy with more export-led growth, retail has an important role to play."

The 24-month plan sets out three large campaigns, led by UKTI and with the purpose of helping retailers to expand into international markets.

Firstly, retailers will be offered support to use every available method of reaching international customers. The 228,000 retailers in Britain who sell things online already export more than all of Europe's other e-retailers combined.

Secondly, middle class consumers will be targeted in priority markets as this audience is growing quickly. These markets include Mumbai, Istanbul, Beijing, Shanghai, St Petersburg, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Warsaw, where British luxury brands are sought after.

Finally, retailers will be offered guidance about how to develop the UK's 'experience economy' for offshore consumers.

British firms are well-placed to secure new business internationally, boosting the country's expertise at joining retail opportunities with leisure and cultural institutions when developing new shopping destinations, it is thought.

As part of the plan, UKTI will also put its global network into use to help attract more of the globe's top retailers to invest and locate in London.

Copyright Press Association 2013