Eyes on the overseas prize during Export Week
Exports are a vital part of most economies, and the UK is no exception. That is why delegates are going all out during National Export Week to spread the message that Britain is here and open for business.
A key element to this drive is the launch of Export Britain, a new online tool aimed at helping businesses connect with new markets overseas.
The resource has been developed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) as part of plans to showcase the opportunities available in key international markets.
The BCC, which along with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), is spearheading the drive to boost UK exports. It says Export Britain will “give UK firms practical support when they travel overseas, and provide them with a first port of call in the countries they wish to do business in. Export Britain links UK exporters with these organisations”.
Part of the move to boost export growth will see the BCC and UKTI work with other business organisations to establish chambers of commerce in 21 key areas that have previously been predicted as growth markets.
The BCC sees its role as aiding businesses in seeking out new markets and helping to set up permanent trade links abroad. The organisation is the largest private sector provider of international trade services in the UK. A crucial part of any trade negotiation overseas is an ability to communicate effectively. The BCC and other organisations offer vital resources that smaller firms may not be able to budget for in house, such as international business law expertise and translation services.
BCC president Nora Senior, said UK firms, along with the Government, should push forward with attempts to develop overseas trade in order to kick-start a “global trade revolution” that she believes will help to secure a lasting economic recovery.
“UK exporters are more optimistic now about their prospects, with confidence higher than it has been since before the economic crisis. But we need more companies that haven’t considered exporting to have a go, and start saying yes to the opportunities that exist in new markets across the globe,” she said.
“Chambers of commerce are here to support firms every step of the way, to help them make in-roads and connections in new countries and provide practical assistance such as training and export documentation,” she added.
And the Government is not being idle in this field, with business secretary Vince Cable currently accompanying a delegation of 30 British businesses in Russia as part of National Export Week.
The Liberal Democrat politician has taken the trip with representatives from the construction, manufacturing and retail sectors in order to encourage SMEs to export to Russia.
He said: “British small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Many are doing incredible things and selling their services and products abroad. But too many do not realise their global potential.”
Between 2009 and 2012, exports of goods and services to Russia grew by over 75% from £4.3 billion to £7.6 billion.
Mr Cable added: “British exports to Russia have almost tripled in the last 10 years, with around 600 UK companies currently operating in the country. The opportunities here are huge for British business – that’s why we’re also investing in a 50m dollar fund to help British small businesses export to Russia.
“This campaign will help us reach the many businesses across the country that are ready to export and grow but have yet to take the plunge. This can be a big step for many businesses and the Government’s expert international trade advisers will guide companies every step of the way, with practical advice and support to find international customers.”
As companies increase exports and begin trading with new countries around the world, translation agencies are expected to benefit from an increase in demand for professional translation services.