Comprehensive plans to boost the number of exporters in the UK and drive the country’s growth, have been set out by one of the UK’s leading business organisations.
Research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) shows that exporters are facing a wide range of issues, from inflationary pressures and global supply chain crises to new requirements flowing from the EU trade deal.
It has set out its manifesto for new UK exporters as its research showed poor overseas trade growth.
The manifesto is targeting UK businesses, currently with just 10 per cent involved in international trade, as the research shows that firms trading overseas are more productive, innovative and resilient.
The BCC is working with the whole of its Global Business Network, both within the UK and in 76 markets across the world, to help encourage the shift.
It is making the move after 23 per cent of firms surveyed said finding a business partner or distributor overseas would encourage them to either start exporting or export more.
A further 16 per cent of firms also said support with trade documentation would encourage them to start exporting or increase the amount of business they do overseas.
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said: “Our research shows that overseas trade fell off a cliff in early 2020. Just eight per cent of UK exporters saw any increase in the second quarter of that year.
“Almost two years later the figures are still way below where they need to be, with only around a quarter reporting improvement.
“The UK is bursting with amazing businesses offering goods and services that are high quality, sustainable and well designed. There are hundreds of overseas markets which are crying out for what we can offer.
“So, it’s vital we now recruit a new generation of exporters to help take our overseas trade to the next level.
“We are standing at a moment where we can seize the opportunity to be in the vanguard of a worldwide revolution in new technology, digital services and Net Zero innovations.”
The manifesto sets out several steps that the UK Government could take to help firms trade with the EU and make sure that any new trade agreements put business interests at their heart.
In Europe these include:
- Streamlining customs and trade processes to reduce paperwork and delays
- Developing more business-friendly rules on cross-border VAT
- Bringing back, and boosting, the Brexit SME Support Fund to help firms adapt
More widely they include:
- Creating a Business and Trade Growth Office at the Dept for International Trade to help smaller businesses get involved in exporting
- Providing better access for UK professional services and mutual recognition of qualifications
- Setting rules on trade that support the future exports of environmental goods and services
- Securing real benefits for importers and manufacturers in the UK on tariff reductions and rules of origin
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our expert international trade team today.