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Global Demand For UK Construction Exports And Expertise Could Generate £11.5bn

31st August 2023


Global demand for UK construction exports and expertise could generate £11.5bn

International demand for UK construction exports and knowledge could provide a £400bn boost to infrastructure programmes around the world, according to Mace.

In “Global Britain – the built environment as a growth export”, Mace identifies the significant scope of opportunity on offer.

The last three years have seen the export of construction services from the UK jump from £3bn to £4.6bn, an increase of 53%.

If that growth could be boosted, Mace estimates the value of export services in the sector could grow to £11.5bn, creating 142,000 new, high-paying jobs across the UK.

The report also looks forward to the best ways to capitalise on the demand for UK construction exports, making recommendations for both policy and practice.

The ‘delivery partner’ model could have continued success

In particular, Mace’s report observed the potential of the ‘delivery partner’ model.

This integrated and collaborative approach to programme delivery aims to keep mega-projects on programme and has led to the successful delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Dubai Expo 2020 and a multi-billion-pound resilience and recovery programme in Peru.

Recommendations for government and industry include:

  • Incentivising exports as a priority for UK firms through export tax credits
  • Prioritising construction services in current and proposed trading agreements
  • The negotiation of mutual recognition of engineering, design and other construction-related qualifications
  • Targeting more Government-to-Government infrastructure contracts with our global partners
  • Boosting funding and engagement for UK Export Finance to support British companies bidding on international programmes
  • If UK firms could raise construction services’ share of exports from 0.4% to just 1%, they could generate an additional £11.5bn in export revenues.

Collaboration will be key to unlocking the new markets

Jason Millett, Mace’s CEO for Consult, commented: “Although it might not always be recognised at home, the UK’s construction expertise is highly valued around the world – from Peru to Singapore, the British are known as straight forward delivery experts.

“This report highlights the huge growth on offer if we can capitalise on that reputation and help to deliver more of the world’s global mega-projects.

“By working together, the Government and industry have the potential to create thousands of highly-paying export jobs – as well as partnering with government and private developers across the world to ensure that vital infrastructure programmes can be delivered on time and on budget.”

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