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UK takes action to boost supply chain resilience for critical goods and back businesses

  • Imports of vital goods for the NHS and UK manufacturing will be shielded from global supply chain shocks, protecting businesses and consumers and boosting the economy.
  • The new Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy is a key part of the government’s work to support business and grow the economy, helping UK companies build strong supply chains and flexibility for critical goods and avoiding reliance on protectionist or coercive countries.
  • Cutting-edge research will be used to map the impact of shocks to supply chains, such as those caused by the Covid pandemic and war in Ukraine, and understand how the UK can can secure the goods we need in the future.

The UK’s supply of vital goods such as medicines, minerals and semiconductors will be protected thanks to the Government’s new Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy published today (Wednesday 17 January).

Recent attacks in the Red Sea, one of the world’s most important waterways, have threatened global trade. In response to the growing geopolitical disruption and unprecedented challenges of recent years such as the Covid pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and environmental disasters, Governments and businesses The UK has strengthened its ability to manage supply chain shocks. The strategy builds on this and will further equip UK businesses to tackle global supply chain issues and access the imports they need for much-needed capital. UK action.

Imported goods are important to our economy. They ensure lower prices, more choices and help businesses operate more efficiently. They drive innovation, drive growth and are essential to the UK’s world-leading industries, from aerospace to life sciences.

Over 100 of the UK’s leading companies, including leading pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies such as the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Green Lithium contributed to the strategy to ensure it enables safe and sustainable development. supply chains protect both their businesses and the consumers who rely on them.

Minister of Economic Security and Industry Nusrat Ghani will launch the Strategy today during a visit to Heathrow Airport, the largest import hub in the UK, which handles more than £86 billion of imports of the UK in 2022.

Minister of Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said:

There are many unpredictable events that could threaten our access to vital goods, from the pandemic, Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, and ongoing attacks in the Red Sea. That’s why we’re taking action to ensure critical imports like medicines can reach consumers, no matter what happens around the world.

With this strategy, we are equipping businesses so that they no longer have to depend on unpredictable partners for the supply of goods to help our country continue to develop. By making supply chains stronger, we are helping the UK become a truly safe and trusted place to do business.

Ross Baker, Commercial Director, Heathrow said:

Heathrow connects the UK to 95% of the world economy and facilitates the import of high-value, time-critical goods needed by UK industries such as pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and ancillary technology. depending on. We welcome Government initiatives that make doing business in the UK easier and more efficient, from strengthening supply chains to streamlining airport freight processes, so that Heathrow can meet the increasing import and export demand globally.

The Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy will enable the government to share key information and guidance with businesses about the risks to critical supply chains and practical steps they can take. now to protect yourself from disruption, including regular updates on emerging supply chain risks, e.g. ban on export of daily essentials imposed by other countries.

As part of the strategy, we will establish a new online portal to enable businesses to quickly report red tape or disruption affecting their critical import activities. The government will then work to remove these barriers wherever possible, saving businesses time and money.

We will also pursue further trade deals to help UK importers access the vital goods they need efficiently and affordably. This provides certainty to traders, allowing businesses to make informed decisions and reducing border delays, helping to drive growth and streamline costs.

This strategy sets out how we use cutting-edge research to understand the impact of shocks to supply chains and how we can secure the critical goods we need in the future. This will include research into how climate change will impact our vital supply chains and how to mitigate the impact of environmental disasters.

We will also establish a new Critical Imports Council that will enable businesses and governments to work together to identify risks to critical imports and develop action plans – ensuring that business has a good reputation. speaks centrally in shaping the government’s work to build supply chain resilience.

Richard Torbett, ABPI CEO, said:

The government’s approach to critical pharmaceutical imports will support our industry to maintain resilient supply chains, helping to ensure consistent access to medicines for UK patients. The medicines and vaccines developed by our industry are vital to public health and the economy. Recent global events such as the pandemic have shown that our industry can manage and address shocks in global supply chains, especially when working with governments, and this strategy supports Our industry does that in the future.

Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO said:

With our success supported by complex global supply chains, the automotive industry is excited to help shape a new strategy that supports manufacturing agility and responsiveness. export. As we accelerate production of the cleanest and greenest vehicles and the batteries they require, such a strategy is essential and we look forward to continuing this important engagement to strengthen resilience and British competitiveness – essential for the UK’s continued success as a leading investment destination for the automotive sector

Sean Sargent, CEO of Green Lithium said:

Green Lithium is pleased to support the new Critical Import and Supply Chain Strategy. This strategy will help ensure that Green Lithium can capture the key minerals needed to supply the UK’s first low carbon lithium refinery, further boosting the battery supply chain and vehicle manufacturing UK electricity. This effort will support the UK economy by creating sustainable supply chain and employment opportunities that underpin the energy transition. Combined with the UK Critical Minerals Strategy and the US-UK Atlantic Declaration, we predict that this strategy will attract investment to the UK’s key mining and refining industries. UK, while strengthening relationships with key mining nations, including Australia, Canada and Brazil. We are grateful to everyone involved in establishing this important strategy.

The Government will also attract international investment in projects such as lithium mining in Cornwall to help us become more self-sufficient in vital goods used in industries such as electric vehicle manufacturing and clean energy.

Through this strategy, we will also identify the support UK businesses need to connect with new suppliers in international markets, including through our overseas network in more than 100 countries. At the same time, we will use our expertise to help developing countries build supply chains with new international markets, including the UK.

The strategy also sets out how the UK government will work with international friends and partners to tackle supply chain challenges, through steps such as the Atlantic Declaration. This partnership with the US includes negotiating a new critical minerals deal that strengthens our vital supply chains and ensures the UK has access to the materials we need for future technologies.


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