Thinking out loud for developing trade

The article on the Department of Trade and Industry’s North America Now campaign (DW 17 March) gave an accurate view of the current state of play. There are though some points that deserve greater emphasis.

The strategy for the campaign is not yet fully developed. As the article pointed out, the KPMG research study is still underway and the DTI is continuing to explore the market for design in the US.

The lack of communication that Design Week perceives bet- ween the Design Business Association and the DTI results simply from final decisions having not yet been made and people thinking out loud. The DTI has been present at every DBA Export Task Group meeting and we do talk.

The DTI’s new interest in promoting the UK service sector, and the fact that design has been chosen as the vanguard for this initiative, has greater significance than the article acknowledges. The appointment of Alex Pratt as an Export Promoter for design is unprecedented. Alex is the only such promoter to be entirely Government-funded. Also, KPMG’s study, being another first, is likely to draw much attention from the wider body of the DTI. This will have knock-on effects, and with the right kind of support from the design community we can look forward to converting another part of the Government to our cause.

You never know this could even help to achieve a more integrated and effective UK design policy.

Christopher Thompson

Managing Director of PSD

Director of the DBA

Member of the DTI’s North America Advisory Group

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