<?xml encoding=”utf-8″ ??>
Rishi Sunak has announced a shake-up of his top team — splitting up the business department and merging it into four new departments.
In a bid to focus on his priorities, Sunak has created a new Department of Science, Innovation and Technology that will be led by Michelle Donelan, the culture secretary.
Grant Shapps, the business secretary, will lead a smaller department focusing on energy security and net zero.
Meanwhile Kemi Badenoch, the international trade secretary, sees her department expand, taking on domestic business regulation and support.
Donelan’s replacement is Lucy Frazer, the levelling up minister, while Greg Hands, the trade minister, becomes the new party chairman.
Downing Street said the changes would ensure the “whole of government is geared up to deliver” on Sunak’s priorities.
Speaking bout the Changes, Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade, said: “The merger of the trade and business departments is an opportunity to better integrate exports within the wider UK growth strategy. We are delighted to see Kemi Badenoch retain the trade portfolio while taking on an expanded remit within government, as this will ensure continuity on trade policy and strategy.
“However, there needs to be a focus on doing what is best to stimulate growth in the economy through international trade. This is because businesses that trade internationally have been proven to grow quicker and become more profitable.
“We’ve previously called for there to be a cross-departmental taskforce focused on driving UK exports, particularly among MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), as well as a minister dedicated to maximising the opportunities of an independent, digital-first border strategy. This merger should be the opportunity to set these wheels in motion.
“Research conducted among members of the Institute of Export & International Trade indicates that businesses engaging with global markets are far more confident in their outlook for growth than is often reported.
“There are excellent opportunities for businesses to take advantage of global markets, but they must have the support and guidance they need to ensure they can trade with confidence.”