THE BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Make UK, an organisation representing British manufacturers, has published a report on international trade which analyses the current state of British exports, and offers recommendations to the government on the support needed to ensure UK exports drive economic growth.
The announcement of the report's publication begins by saying that "British manufacturing companies are already major players in the global export market, with 95% of UK companies sending goods overseas, ensuring we have a manufacturing sector much larger and more powerful than it would be based solely on domestic consumption". However, the announcement goes on to say that "manufacturing needs Government to offer additional export support so companies can compete in new markets as the UK begins its new journey outside the EU".
According to Make UK's International Trade Report 2020, around 97% of UK companies export directly to the EU. With manufacturing currently contributing 53% of the UK's exports, Make UK say that "the uncertainty over future trading arrangements with the EU makes taking advantage of new export opportunities more important than ever."
Among the recommendations Make UK offer to the Department for International Trade, the organisation suggests the government needs to:
• Further develop on-the-ground support with in-market contacts, agents and other advisors with the local knowledge to help companies succeed in new markets;
• Establish a database of overseas companies in target countries to enable effective market research for manufacturers;
• Boost skills base through the introduction of a financial package for exporters to improve technical capability and provide grants and practical support to assist exporters attending trade shows and similar events overseas;
• and develop a national guidance website for business covering all destinations UK manufacturers send their workers in order to service products for customers.
Discussing the Report, Make UK's CEO, Stephen Phipson, said that "British manufacturers have always exported their high quality goods around the world and the new trade deals which are currently being negotiated should open up a myriad of opportunities. But making sure smaller businesses, which are often the most innovative, are able to take advantage of these new opportunities will be vital if we are to fully maximise the potential trade benefits. This means bespoke support which is simple to understand and easy to obtain, helping them to access true experts on the ground with the right local knowledge."
Mr Phipson went on to add that "Government must look to build a structure of reliable advice with a database of overseas companies in each country to help manufacturers make those first steps effectively, allowing them to carry out effective market research to make considered decisions. This should sit alongside a financial package to boost skills base for exporters to improve technical capability."
To read the full International Trade Report 2020 from Make UK, go to www.makeuk.org/insights/reports/international-trade-report-2020
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