UK mid-sized firms to receive tailored advice from government
Trade Minister Lord Livingston has announced that all mid-sized businesses in the UK will be offered tailored trade advice to help them improve exports and break into new markets. Livingston will personally write to each of the UK’s 8,900 medium-sized firms to offer support from the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
This follows evidence which suggests export firms have greater success with the help of the UKTI, and on average mid-sized businesses can boost their sales by approximately £1.8milllion. The Confederation of British Industry has estimated that if businesses fulfil their potential with the support of the UKTI, they can add between £20bn and £50bn to the UK economy. At present, firms of this size make up just 0.5 per cent of all businesses in the UK, but contribute around one fifth of all turnover and employment.
In comparison, just 17 per cent of businesses conducted operations outside of the EU, significantly less than the 25 per cent of German firms and 30 per cent in Italy. This has contributed to a trade deficit that many believe will continue to grow. Although exports are at a record high, imports have also exceeded previous volumes which has contributed to the gap. The UKTI is no doubt hoping that their new strategy will help to reduce a deficit that stands at 5 per cent as of January 2014.
On the initiative, Lord Livingstone commented:
"Mid-sized businesses have the potential to be economic powerhouses for the UK economy, creating jobs and growth for all regions of the UK. Their success is dependent on expanding beyond domestic markets so we will be making personal contact with all mid-sized businesses to find out what we can do to help them go up a gear and compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer.Businesses excel with UKTI's support and we want to make sure that they are not just trading abroad, but thriving there."
Alongside credit, access to knowledge is key to stimulating growth for firms of all sizes, particularly when looking to expand across international borders. With the UKTI offering the tailored business information UK firms need, they can expect greater opportunities for overseas contracts, tenders and projects which stimulate expansion and increase their networks.