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Exporters will kickstart the economy

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The LCCI’s latest research shows that 40 per cent of its members currently export abroad, while 42 per cent would consider it if appropriate support was made available.

“With the London economy still feeling the effects of the recession, companies need to be more adventurous and start making deals abroad to replace the contracts that have dried up at home," comments Peter Bishop, International Trade Director of the LCCI. "We know that many firms are interested in exporting, but they might not realise that organisations like Chambers of Commerce and UKTI can help them make the leap into doing business overseas."

Take Nico Nicholas, for example. The founder of LetterBoxChocs says he was absolutely “bowled over” by the assistance he received from the UKTI after it paid for him to attend a trade show in Germany, encouraged him to sign up for the Enterprise Guarantee Scheme and gave him valuable market research and contacts when he decided to trade in the States.

The LCCI is also calling on entrepreneurs who currently trade abroad to start exploring new markets and replicate their success elsewhere. Most London businesses trade close to home with 84 per cent trading with Europe. Looking further afield, 54 per cent trade with the US and 55 per cent export to the Middle and Near East. Of the world’s new economic powerhouses, China and India, 33 per cent and 27 per cent of London firms respectively sell their goods to these countries, which leaves scope for significant expansion.

"Now may be the time to look to emerging markets for new opportunities," continues Bishop. “If the capital’s businesses adopt the right attitude and are given the tools they need to succeed, they can begin an export-led recovery of both the London and UK economies.”

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