The Department for Business and Trade has recently published a new policy paper on Critical Imports and Supply Chain Strategy. The report acknowledges the significant shocks, stresses, and disruptions that can impact economic growth and supply chain resilience. The strategy aims to help UK businesses build resilient supply chains, ensuring the continued supply of critical goods to secure critical national infrastructure, essential services, and economic prosperity. This publication follows the commitment made in the Integrated Review Refresh (2023) to publish a Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy. The strategy places businesses at the centre of the approach and outlines 18 commitments supported by a coordinated joint working approach. The strategy is guided by the principles of free trade and subsidiarity and sets out five key priorities for action:

  • Priority 1: Making the UK government a centre of excellence for supply chain analysis and risk assessment
  • Priority 2: Removing critical import barriers to support the UK’s business-friendly environment
  • Priority 3: Building the UK’s response to global supply chain shocks
  • Priority 4: Ensuring the UK can adapt to long-term trends
  • Priority 5: Expanding collaboration between government, business and academia

The report outlines current and planned actions for the upcoming phase of work to deliver on these priorities, with a commitment to the next steps in delivering the strategy and performance measurement. This includes a commitment to publishing a further progress update in due course. The government’s new strategy takes a whole economy approach, building on existing sector-specific initiatives, including the Advanced Manufacturing Plan and recent semiconductors, batteries and critical mineral strategies.

Further reading on the topic of supply chain includes this article by The Business Continuity Institute that explores the question, “What does supply chain resilience mean in 2024?”  The article emphasises the imperative of proactive organisational preparedness to manage supply chain risk and disruption during continuous uncertainty and growing shocks and stresses to supply chain systems. The article sets out measures businesses can take to shift towards an approach that prioritises risk, resilience and sustainability that can be synergistic with efficiency and profitability.


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