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Britain needs a “Mittelstand”

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Speaking at an export event organised by law firm Nabarro, the CBI’s head of exports policy, Jim Bligh, said a British Mittelstand would help boost growth and exports.

The “Mittelstand” is a unique feature of the German economy, made up of all of the medium-sized companies and viewed as a single economic unit. 

“By acting together, the Mittelstand has become a very powerful force within the German economy and packs a bigger punch than others when approaching new export markets,” said Bligh.

“It is not unrealistic of Yorkshire to form its own Mittelstand, based on the depth of manufacturing expertise already here, and deliver growth for all.

“As with our own SMEs, Mittelstand companies are defined by the owner taking the business decisions and assuming the risks and liability. 

They work with long-term goals in mind and place value on lasting relationships with customers, suppliers and employees. They are technology-driven and their key sales driver is not the price but the quality and innovations they deliver.”

Bligh also urged SMEs to focus more on moving into new fast-growing markets, rather than relying solely on traditional markets such as the EU and the US, which currently represent 62 per cent of all UK exports.

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