UK businesses lack exporting mindset

Nearly 70 per cent of small and medium sized enterprise in the UK do not currently export and are not likely to in the future, reports the British Chambers of Commerce.

The survey of 8,000 companies reveals that British businesses lack an ‘exporting culture’, according to David Frost, director general of the BCC.

Of the 5,500 companies that do not export, 71 per cent report that their products and services are unsuitable for overseas markets, while 19 per cent maintain they have sufficient business in the UK.

Respondents to the survey also say they lack the resources to export and acknowledge that they would require assistance to find international customers.

Frost says the survey exposes ‘uncomfortable truths’ about UK companies’ ability to export and blames the government for not encouraging and incentivising international trade.

‘The UK doesn’t provide enough help to small and medium sized exporters, whereas governments in Canada, Germany, France and the USA take more steps to make sure their companies succeed overseas,’ he adds.

Many of the 2,500 respondents whose companies already export, or are likely to, say they require more assistance. Some 34 per cent want the government to help them deal with foreign exchange fluctuations, while 28 per cent need support securing working capital and short-term trade credit insurance.

The survey comes ahead of the government’s trade white paper which is due to be published today.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Leave a comment