Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Logically speaking, we need more grey areas (Times) (£)

In all arguments, from faith to politics, sexuality to morality, a little messed-up thinking takes us a long way, says Matthew Parris.

2. Miliband keeps going off the radar and is in danger of sinking without trace (Independent)

George Mudie is a maverick, but he shouldn’t be dismissed by Team Miliband, writes Andrew Grice.

3. We can't afford to be cynical about the Israel-Palestinian peace talks (Guardian)

John Kerry has shown the will to get things moving, and even old hands aren't as pessimistic as usual. There's room for hope, says Jonathan Freedland.

4. Of course people at the BBC are biased: why not make a virtue of it? (Telegraph)

We need the BBC to be more like the newspapers - open about the unavoidably political beliefs of its staff, argues Graeme Archer.

5. The internet is often vile, but we can make it civilised (FT) (£)

The challenge is to make online abuse as despised as racism at football matches, writes Helen Lewis.

6. What does idealism get you today? Abuse, derision, or sometimes prison (Guardian)

From Bradley Manning to the Jane Austen banknote campaigners to 'outsider artists', the world does not seem to favour those acting on idealist principles these days, says Deborah Orr.

7. They busted us, but the police were the dopes (Times) (£)

Forty years ago Britain’s drug laws turned today’s pillars of the Establishment into criminals and rebels, says Carol Sarler.

8. A new Doctor Who, but the same old moral core (Telegraph)

The 12th Time Lord, who takes over from Matt Smith, will inherit a show of unique resilience and enduring values, writes Matthew Norman.

9. Think how good the House of Lords could be (Independent)

What we need is more mavericks, individuals and expertise rather than more tribalism, says Ian Birrell.

10. Labour MP George Mudie's "hesitant and confused" outburst at Ed Miliband stings because it rings true (Mirror)

David Cameron and the Conservatives are there for the taking yet too often Miliband fails to land the killer punches, says Kevin Maguire.

Show Hide image

A global marketplace: the internet represents exporting’s biggest opportunity

The advent of the internet age has made the whole world a single marketplace. Selling goods online through digital means offers British businesses huge opportunities for international growth. The UK was one of the earliest adopters of online retail platforms, and UK online sales revenues are growing at around 20 per cent each year, not just driving wider economic growth, but promoting the British brand to an enthusiastic audience.

Global e-commerce turnover grew at a similar rate in 2014-15 to over $2.2trln. The Asia-Pacific region, for example, is embracing e-marketplaces with 28 per cent growth in 2015 to over $1trln of sales. This demonstrates the massive opportunities for UK exporters to sell their goods more easily to the world’s largest consumer markets. My department, the Department for International Trade, is committed to being a leader in promoting these opportunities. We are supporting UK businesses in identifying these markets, and are providing access to services and support to exploit this dramatic growth in digital commerce.

With the UK leading innovation, it is one of the responsibilities of government to demonstrate just what can be done. My department is investing more in digital services to reach and support many more businesses, and last November we launched our new digital trade hub: www.great.gov.uk. Working with partners such as Lloyds Banking Group, the new site will make it easier for UK businesses to access overseas business opportunities and to take those first steps to exporting.

The ‘Selling Online Overseas Tool’ within the hub was launched in collaboration with 37 e-marketplaces including Amazon and Rakuten, who collectively represent over 2bn online consumers across the globe. The first government service of its kind, the tool allows UK exporters to apply to some of the world’s leading overseas e-marketplaces in order to sell their products to customers they otherwise would not have reached. Companies can also access thousands of pounds’ worth of discounts, including waived commission and special marketing packages, created exclusively for Department for International Trade clients and the e-exporting programme team plans to deliver additional online promotions with some of the world’s leading e-marketplaces across priority markets.

We are also working with over 50 private sector partners to promote our Exporting is GREAT campaign, and to support the development and launch of our digital trade platform. The government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign is targeting potential partners across the world as our export trade hub launches in key international markets to open direct export opportunities for UK businesses. Overseas buyers will now be able to access our new ‘Find a Supplier’ service on the website which will match them with exporters across the UK who have created profiles and will be able to meet their needs.

With Lloyds in particular we are pleased that our partnership last year helped over 6,000 UK businesses to start trading overseas, and are proud of our association with the International Trade Portal. Digital marketplaces have revolutionised retail in the UK, and are now connecting consumers across the world. UK businesses need to seize this opportunity to offer their products to potentially billions of buyers and we, along with partners like Lloyds, will do all we can to help them do just that.

Taken from the New Statesman roundtable supplement Going Digital, Going Global: How digital skills can help any business trade internationally

0800 7318496