Vince Cable leads exports drive

Vince Cable is launching the "biggest ever drive" to encourage small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to export goods and services around the world.

In a trip to Russia, accompanied by 30 British firms with the hope to boost trade between the two states, the Business Secretary described SMEs as the "lifeblood of our economy".

He added: "Many are doing incredible things and selling their services and products abroad, but too many do not realise their global potential.

"This campaign will help us reach the many businesses across the country that are ready to export and grow but have yet to take the plunge.

"This can be a big step for many businesses and the Government's expert international trade advisers will guide companies every step of the way, with practical advice and support to find international customers."

Figures show exports to Russia increased by more than 75% - from 4.3 billion to 7.6 billion - between 2009 and 2012.

The Government wants to increase the proportion of UK exporters from 20% to 25%.

The business delegation is one of a number of schemes taking place during Export Week, with 5,000 business expected to join activities across the country.

Copyright Press Association 2013