November 21 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

UK firms look beyond eurozone for export, report finds

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UK businesses are seeking growth opportunities beyond Europe, EY has found.

UK businesses are very much in growth mode and especially in the case of small firms, demand overseas will play an important role in satisfying their appetite. However, a slack eurozone has meant that in many key markets, demand remains weak. For many firms, that means that they are looking further afield for opportunities.

A poll from EY reveals that 83 per cent of the entrepreneurs surveyed believe the future of UK exports lies outside the EU – despite the fact that it remains Britain’s single largest trading partner. With so many business leaders indicating they believe the greatest success will be found beyond Europe, it is likely that there will be a shift in market share over the next few years.

It’s clear there are plenty of opportunities worldwide for UK exports. Not only does the end of Federal Reserve tapering in the US indicate that the economy there is still recovering, but the continued growth emerging markets means that demand for goods and services is set to boom in those countries.

“Europe has been and will continue to be the UK’s biggest trading partner, yet the UK’s entrepreneurs can see a clear opportunity to grow their business outside the EU in the coming years,” says Stuart Watson, EY Entrepreneur of the Year UK leader.

“Businesses intending to scale up through export growth should make sure that they look out for opportunities beyond the EU.”

However, to maximise the potential of these opportunities abroad, businesses need support to begin at home. The poll found that 46 per cent of respondents believed the greater government support held the key to the UK’s export future.

Indeed, 29 per cent also said that cutting red tape would help businesses to grow, while 27 per cent also supported a review of the existing regulatory framework. With a similar proportion explaining that they felt regulation restricted growth, it’s clear this is a pain point for many of the nation’s businesses.

“The UK needs to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business and grow, not just in the UK, but internationally. Entrepreneurs regard red tape and regulation as both a cost and that which slows down growth,” Mr Watson added.

Thiago Kiwi

Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.

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