Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Osborne has an economic recovery, but what sort? (Daily Telegraph)

The Chancellor’s plan is to fire up demand and hope sustained growth follows in its wake, writes Jeremy Warner. 

2. No one is left to enforce the rules (Financial Times)

Europe’s posture in the face of Middle East unrest is best described as hiding under the bedcovers, writes Philip Stephens.

3. Russia and the US are closer than we think (Times)

When the smoke clears, both sides are set on stopping extremists taking over Syria, writes Tony Brenton.

4. On Syria, we have allowed Labour policy to be dictated by the government (Guardian)

Ed Miliband was right to halt Cameron's 'rush to war', says Ben Bradshaw. But now is the time to reflect, as a party, on our own position.

5. We need a law to end gender-specific abortions (Daily Telegraph)

Terminations based on sex are a disgrace that most politicians would rather ignore, says Fraser Nelson.

6. Whose recovery is this? That's the great general election question (Guardian)

If competition over living standards for low and middle earners does become the next battleground, that's cause for celebration, writes Polly Toynbee.

7. Labour can’t allow the unions to win this (Times)

The GMB union has called Ed Miliband’s bluff, writes Philip Collins. Despite the financial cost to the party, he must stand firm.

8. The bravery of women like Asma Jahangir shines through Pakistan’s murky history (Independent)

The laws repealed are testament to what can be achieved, writes Peter Popham. 

9. The judicial review system is not a promotional tool for countless left-wing campaigners (Daily Mail)

Britain cannot afford to allow a culture of left-wing-dominated, single-issue activism to hold back our country from investing in infrastructure and new sources of energy, says Chris Grayling. 

10. New York’s farewell to America’s mayor (Financial Times)

The high-profile post could be taken by a candidate grounded in humble issues, writes Gary Silverman. 

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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

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