As the sixth Export Week kicks off, East Midlands export chief, Ian Harrison, has called on companies to seek help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to realise their export potential.
He made the call as new research revealed that finding customers is identified as the single most important issue that stops companies from exporting in the first place.
The top three barriers holding back existing Northamptonshire exporters from generating more business overseas are global issues/competition, dealing with legal or tax regulations and the effort required.
The research also revealed that 58% of Northamptonshire’s regular exporters are expecting to see exporting levels increase over the next 12 months.
Ian Harrison, RD for UKTI East Midlands, said: “UKTI are keen to offer support so companies can overcome barriers to international trade. Our research showed that 14% of companies across the region, some 8,000, that employ over five people are exporting, and a further 2% would like to.
“By helping just this 2% of companies to export for the first time, it would provide a significant boost to the economy.
“This Export Week we want to ensure that those companies that want to export can, by taking full advantage of the support available from UKTI. We are bringing the world to the region and we hope that the expertise and advice available at our other events during the week, will help businesses on the fast track to exporting success.”
The research was commissioned by UKTI East Midlands to better understand the barriers and drivers to international trade.
Exporting opens up new markets
Welcoming the research, Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire LEP, said: “I welcome UKTI East Midland’s research and am pleased that 70% of Northamptonshire’s regular exporters said that the value of their exports had increased in the last three years, with one in five saying that trading overseas is an integral part of their growth plans. This matters as exporting is a significant driver of growth, and therefore critical to meeting our ambition to grow Northamptonshire’s economy by £4billion and create 32,500 new jobs by 2021.
“I would really encourage more businesses to start exporting as this opens up new markets, increases innovation and provides opportunities to share knowledge and experience with other businesses. That’s why we are working with UKTI, the Chamber of Commerce and the Northamptonshire Growth Hub to develop a programme of support to help new exporters get started. The ‘Making It In Northamptonshire’ event on 12 November will kick-start this, by providing practical advice from local experts on how to begin the exporting journey”.
Ian added: “The research is timely for a number of reasons not least how the region can contribute to meeting the Government’s targets to double the UK’s exports to £1trn by 2020, get an additional 100,000 firms to export and increase the number of firms exporting from 20 to 25%.
“We would urge companies across the area to get in touch with UKTI to get the help they need to overcome the barriers to export.”
To export contact UKTI East Midlands on 0345 052 4001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow UKTI East Midlands on Twitter @ukti_emids and @IanH_UKTIEM and take part in the conversation using #ExportWeek
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