Regional exports drive UK economy
A new survey has found that certain regions of the UK are boosting Britain’s exports, with firms in London leading the way.
Some 59% of firms in the capital are exporting, while the South East and Yorkshire and Humber are also regions that are performing strongly – with 47% and 43% of firms exporting respectively.
The report from software giant Citrix studied 2,000 of the UK’s small businesses to look into their export habits.
Firms in Wales and the North East were least likely to export, as this only occurred in 28% and 26% of cases – potentially meaning businesses could be missing an opportunity.
Among the most successful sectors at exporting and driving sales were firms dealing with technology and marketing.
The South East and East Midlands – home to many IT and telecoms firms – were projecting increases in revenue from international trade of 27% and 28% for the coming two years.
Manufacturing and construction firms are more common in Yorkshire and Humber and a third of these firms are expecting to boost their revenues.
Citrix revealed that they expected the south to perform strongly, but that the success of other areas was a major positive factor for the economy.
Overall, 42% of SMEs are exporting and this is expected to rise to 60% by 2016 as more firms realise how it can benefit their businesses.
Government targets of exports worth £1 trillion a year by 2020 could yet be a reality, while SMEs will be a driving force in reaching this target.
According to projections, SMEs could provide a £20bn boost to the economy by the end of the decade but it relies on them expanding in the right way.
Half of SMEs fail to make it past their fifth birthday, although using insolvency advice could reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
Such actions are required early though, as this provides the best chance of identifying a problem and finding a solution before the negative financial impacts become too much.
By Phil Smith