Britain’s businesses aren’t exporting enough. If the economic recovery is to be sustained, rather than build on a housing and financial services bubble, we need to make sure our fast-growing small and medium businesses can tap into international markets.
The government’s target of Britain reaching 1tn in exports by 2020 has always seemed optimistic and reports have claimed that this figure is unlikely to be met – present figures suggest exports are around half of that.
The chancellor George Osborne warned last month that Britain wasn’t exporting enough.
He said: We cannot rely on consumers alone for our economic growth, as we did in previous decades and we cannot put all our chips on the success of the City of London, as my predecessors did.
“Britain is not investing enough. Britain is not exporting enough. There are encouraging signs. Both business investment and exports are forecast to grow.”
But we can’t be passive observers of the forecasts. We need to roll up our sleeves, get to work and make it happen.
Despite a visible increase in activity UKTI, the government department responsible for boosting Britain’s overseas trade has come under some flak for our export stagnation, but the reality is it can only lead the horse to water.
What we need to see is British businesses develop an appetite for exports.
That’s why Real Business will be spending March focusing on the challenges British businesses face and how to overcome them.
Through interviews and guest columns from successful exporters, advice guides and a look at the opportunities available around the world, we hope to inspire Britain’s businesses to make the most of the opportunities the global marketplace has to offer.