Help for exporters and tax-breaks for buying new equipment were at the centre of budget measures targeted at the business community and improving Britain's sluggish record on selling goods overseas.
The chancellor said exports to emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China were rising fast but from a low base, as the Treasury seeks to reach a self-imposed objective of doubling UK exports to £1tn by 2020.
To support businesses in international markets, George Osborne pledged to double the amount the government provides for export finance to £3bn, while slashing interest charged on that support by a third.
Export finance underpins overseas sales by offering companies loans, credit guarantees and insurance that help with issues such as non-payment and other financial problems. "For many firms, the truth is you can only win the contract if you are backed by competitive export finance. Instead of having the least competitive export finance in Europe we will have the most competitive," Osborne said.
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