A READING MP has called on the Government to throw its weight behind ambitious companies.

Reading West MP Alok Sharma has called for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Government agency responsible for increasing UK exports, to get behind small and medium sized businesses looking to sell overseas. Speaking during a debate on the Budget the MP called on ministers to expand the Government's presence into more cities in key markets.

He said: "We need not only to target three, four or five cities in these huge economies such as India and Indonesia, but to go into the 15 or 20 top tier 1 and tier 2 cities. In those economies it is not only the national Governments who make decisions; the state governments make many of the big decisions on investment, which is why we need to turbo-charge our approach and get these offices across these countries quickly."

The Reading West MP, who accompanied Prime Minister David Cameron on his trade trip to India last month, also urged UKTI to create new business hubs within the world's fastest growing economies where British companies could base themselves.

He said: "There are huge opportunities for British businesses in some of the high-growth emerging economies and I therefore hope that the Government will look at my suggestion to create a large number of sector-focused hubs in cities across high growth regions to turbo-charge the export potential of our small and medium enterprises."