The 2013/05/31 at 08:12
Stéphanie Salti, in London
British exporters wish to broaden their horizons. While 87 % of them start off by dealing with the European Union, a large majority is aware of the changes on the global market and the need to open up to other markets. According to a survey carried out amongst over 4,600 members of the organism in charge of British Chambers of Commerce, the BCC, the number of exporter businesses has gone up within a single year from 32 % to 39 %. Over half of the companies surveyed – 57 % – already export to the Middle East and Africa, while 51 % distribute their products to a country that is not a member of the European Union.
North America and Australia / New Zealand only represent 47 % and 40 % of exports respectively, while Latin America still remains a continent to explore: only 28 % of exporters currently have business dealings there. However Brazil, considered as one of the major future world economies, is at the top of the list of export destinations in the last five years, followed by Russia and Qatar, according to the survey. Amongst the businesses wishing to launch an export policy, target countries barely vary from those selected by current exporters: 88 % target EU countries, while half envisage exporting their products to the United States.
The slowdown of Chinese growth has nevertheless had an impact on the export projects of BCC members: only 40 % of potential exporters envisage distributing their products in Asia. Amongst current exporters, China nevertheless remains on top of the list of countries presenting the greatest growth opportunities, along with Brazil, Russia and India. But beyond the BRICs, exporters have already identified a certain number of buoyant markets, including the United Arab Emirates, Poland, as well as Vietnam and Poland. Amongst the businesses still focusing on the domestic market, many mention the difficulty in crossing geographical barriers: over half – 58 % - declare that they do not have an adequate product whilst 6 % admit that they do not have sufficient trade expertise.
For 80 % of British non-exporter businesses, finding clients or distributors would help their settle their decisions on the matter. Not surprisingly, the BCC has encouraged the British government to come to the help of businesses wishing to open up internationally. According to John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, “with austerity measures set to continue until 2018, it is clear that a sustainable recovery will have to rely heavily on diversifying and rebalancing our economy towards exports.” He goes on to say that “British companies have massive untapped potential to expand, but they need the right backing to help them compete globally and break into new markets.”