Due to a record rise of 9% in UK exports, the trade gap has today been reduced from £10.2 billion to £7.6 billion. Exports to non-European countries rose the most, while EU exports also increased. While most would agree this is good news, many economists do not seem to be overjoyed at present.
This is most probably because the UK’s industrial output in October suffered the steepest fall in six months. This exacerbated fears that the economy was heading towards another recession. While there is a difference of opinions on where the economy is heading, it is clear that the increase in export is having massive effect.
We are all aware that EU economies are experiencing difficult times, and these problems are likely to continue for some time, but it is clear from the most recent figures that there are fast-growing markets outside the EU. China is now the UK’s seventh biggest trading partner in the world, and is among non-EU economies which are booming.
British SMEs (small to medium size businesses) need to make every effort to find opportunities in these markets in order to grow, and overcome difficulties faced by stalling domestic markets. In order to succeed they should stop treating exporting as an expensive risk and wrongly believing that only large companies can export.
By creating an International Trade Plan, any SME can easily assess whether or not they can benefit from international trade: this needs to be the first step even if they are not planning to export in the immediate future. Any business, from a start-up to a well established company is becoming involved in some form of international trade. An international trade plan in advance will enable them to review their products, processes, weaknesses and strengths.
It is not suggested that international trade is simple or can be taken lightly, but there is a huge amount of help out there for any company who would like to take the first step towards international trade.