Image Source: Don McCullough
Tom Keighley

Member Article

North East firms need more overseas ambition

More businesses in the North East need to think about growing their markets overseas, the North East Chamber of Commerce has suggested following a major survey of its members.

Of some 4,700 businesses, 89% said they had ambitions to grow domestically, but less than half said they were looking to expand overseas.

More than half of the responds said overseas trade was not critical to their business over the next year.

Half of the North East firms surveyed were not exporting to one of 21 current “high-growth markets” identified by UKTI, including Japan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan and Hungary, which are percieved to hold the greatest opportunities over the next five years.

Of those that do export 19% said that their company’s profitability had risen between 6-10%, while 17% said they had seen profits rise by 11-25%.

NECC Policy Adviser, Lucy Humphreys, said: “More must be done to take the fear out of exporting and promote the enormous potential that overseas markets offer.

“This survey backs up what we are also seeing in our own Quarterly Economic Surveys, that the businesses operating in exports markets are reaping the rewards with increased sales and orders, but we do need more businesses to explore foreign shores.

“If we are serious about rebalancing our economy, we must invest even more in supporting and promoting international trade.

“The UK should be matching the level of resourcing dedicated to export support provided by our major international competitors. And Government intervention must be more focused in areas that can really make a difference, such as providing greater access to finance to growing firms – particularly when a quarter of non-exporters say that increased funding would encourage them to export.

“NECC is working in partnership with UKTI and the global Chambers of Commerce network to develop worldwide “soft landings” for members. This is providing British companies entering new markets with practical advice, support and new business connections.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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