“A Day Worth A Trillion Pounds”


The inaugural Summit for Independent International Trade & Customs Experts has come to a close. SIITACE wishes to express its gratitude to World First for its support. Thank you to everyone who attended the day at the National Motorcycle Museum. 

Trade and customs officials together with many members of SIITACE gathered to discuss how to accomplish the goal of £1 trillion in exports by 2030 asking ourselves if, ‘this is a realistic goal or just wishful thinking?’

There was a star-studded roster of speakers and specialists on hand, ready to participate in conversation and debate.

Border Operating Model 2025 and beyond

During their fireside chat, Dr. Anna Jerzewska and Brendan McAuley discussed how HMRC’s Border 2025 plan, and the Single Trade Window, can be used to attain our £1 trillion export goal. They explored how its design should support traders and facilitate easier exports.

WTO and the MC12

Lesley Batchelor OBE gave an excellent report on the current situation of the WTO. On MC12 she said: “The World Trade Organization (WTO) needs to get its act together and do more to make trade easier, as well as becoming more powerful and resolute to resolve trade disputes. If we want to be successful, the global trade environment must be as frictionless as possible.”


Director of Trade Strategy at EY, George Riddell discussed digitalization as the beginning of a new age in international trade. George talked about what it means to be trading digitally and what the digital trade agenda entails. The UK-Singapore digital trade agreement was cited as an example of how a digital trade agreement could look like in terms of global developments, including blockchain and cybersecurity.

Not so Free Trade Agreements

“Where next?” customs expert Arne Mielken asked as he pondered whether or not Trade Agreements will aid in achieving the lofty objectives of £1 trillion in exports by 2030. He emphasised that FTAs are not free at all, and that they remain extremely difficult for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to use successfully. Also, it’s difficult to see how they’ll be able to make a significant impact on our £1 trillion objective in their current shape.

Paying and receiving money internationally

Mark Douglas and Henry Hatton of World First then demonstrated how international company payments may be made simple. Trade and exports are impossible without the ability to get paid. “Make sure you can pay and receive payment before extending your business internationally”, was the key message. When ready to make that move, just know that WorldFirst may be of assistance.

WorldFirst is a company that facilitates international money transfers. Since 2017, WorldFirst has given specialised solutions to help customers doing business globally succeed. If you’re an importer, exporter or online seller who needs to manage currency risk and make cross-currency and same-currency payments swiftly and efficiently in over 60 currencies, WorldFirst is the ideal solution for your needs.

OPEN SPACE Workshop 

The SIITACE Open Space Workshop was a highlight of the day. An opportunity for some blue-sky thinking. Attendees were able to analyse the challenges faced by exporters and provide helpful recommendations about how to proceed. Linda Middleton-Jones, CEO of International Trade Matters trade specialists, used a novel and entertaining ‘OPEN SPACE WORKSHOP’ technique to ensure that all attendees had their say. International export support tactics, new supply chains, CHIEF and CDS in customs space, and UK trade estimates for 2030 were among the subjects considered by the groups. Based on these discussions, a white paper is now being created and distributed to the appropriate agencies. 

What if trade goes wrong?

Mr. John Kirkpatrick’s address was another highlight. The Trade Remedies Authority Joint Chief Investigator from the Department of International Trade, highlighted what happens when things go awry in global trade and Anti-Dumping Duty can be imposed? He described the TRA’s mission and the methods it employs in the battle against unfair commerce.

Financing international trade 

Finally, another real gem was delivered in the closing panel address of the day international trade and financial planning were the main topics of discussion. Queen’s Award Business owner and FSB Chair on International Policy Chris H Walker, talked about financing international trade and highlighted some of the dangers of doing business worldwide. The panel offered some great solutions as to how to avoid or cope with the possible risks.


Lesley Batchelor proudly concluded the first-ever SIITACE by emphasising the need of setting great ambitions for global trade, like the UK’s £1 trillion-dollar goal. Thanking those attending she recognised that collectively, as intermediaries’, our membership reach, already sitting at 40,000 businesses, can influence magnify any trade objectives. With a joint vision and shared purpose, the sky really could be the limit for exports. The UK might surpass this £1 trillion goal in 2030 but only if the global business opportunities can be sought and exploited, and that’s where SIITACE can help. 

Why not talk to us about membership – experts@siitace.org

About SIITACE.org

SIITACE is a membership organisation run BY Independent International Trade Specialists specifically FOR Independent International Trade Specialists.

Our directors and members have 100s of years of active experience of global trade. Members cover all aspects of overseas trade including business support and promotion, sales and marketing, customs, tax & vat and logistics. As a non-public sector organisation, we are not motivated to achieve targets. Consequently, we have the freedom to offer impartial support and advice to our members and the wider international trade sectors.

The reach of our members, as intermediaries, means that we can boast upwards of 40,000 businesses that we interact with mainly in the MSME trading space. 

Company CIC registration: 13356191 

Contact: – Chair Lesley Batchelor OBE, 07774264725 experts@siitace.org or Lesley.batchelor@exportbootcamps.com