Dr. Adam Marshall, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce:
The past twelve months have been a volatile time for UK business. Global headwinds and a slowing economy, combined with the shadow of uncertainty cast by the EU referendum, have led some firms to put expansion and export plans on hold for the time being.
Improving our export performance will be key to driving wider UK economic growth in the coming years. To achieve this, both businesses and government will need to work together to nurture stronger export performance – a job that will take a decade or more to see through to fruition. However, there is practical support available for UK exporters, that can help them identify and break into new markets.
The BCC launched the Global Business Network in 2015 as a brand that reflects the increased international focus of the organisation, and the trade services that Chambers offer to businesses. The British Chambers of Commerce works not only with 52 Accredited Chambers in the UK but also has 29 British Chambers globally that have either been fully Accredited or assessed by the BCC, with many more working with us on a partner basis.
Direct access to on-the-ground support in new markets is a key way of improving the competitiveness and success of UK exporters, and we are working with our Global Business Network to link British firms with customers, partners and opportunities in the fastest-growing economies overseas.
Of course, trade is not all one-way. Inward investment and imports are just as vital to our national success as our ability to trade. Many businesses who export also import through supply chains, and through major infrastructure projects the UK can continue to demonstrate that it remains a great place to invest and do business.
The UK has weathered numerous storms before, making British businesses more resilient and dynamic in the process. We need to ensure that the period of transition in our relationship with our European neighbours does not hinder our current trading partnerships, and does not hold us back from exploring new opportunities at the same time. British products and services still have an excellent reputation worldwide, and we need to remind the world of what we have to offer, and help UK firms to take full advantage of this.
To gain practical exporting advice in a number of areas and learn more about how our Global Business Network can provide you with the contacts, resources and expertise you need to successfully grow your exporting business, join us at Global Business Network Live on November 1. Book now to secure your place.