Posted by

Sukhdeep Dhillon - Global Economic Advisor

22 Aug 2014

This week saw the release of the Q2 Trade Confidence Index, which measures both UK exporting activity and business confidence of more than 2,300 exporting firms. The latest results were very positive, showing that more than two thirds of exporting firms are confident about their turnover improving – up 10% on the same time a year ago. However, this confidence is not being translated into official numbers. Our recent international trade survey showed that less than half of the businesses have ambitions to grow overseas. A lot more needs to be done to need to transform the domestic mindset of those businesses by creating an environment that makes it worthwhile for them to export.

If we compare our exports to the likes of Germany, we lag behind. German exports in 2013 grew by 1.1%, whereas UK exports grew by a mere 0.5%. So what is the secret to Germany’s success? It’s quite simple really - Germany provides goods and services that growing economies want to buy.

Some have warned that Germany's economy is overly export-dependent and vulnerable to the global economy, but the country's success as an exporter has created a virtuous circle that has instead strengthened its domestic economy. More exports have generated higher profits and created more jobs, fuelling domestic demand. The recent decline in the German economy was unexpected but provided that global growth remains solid (especially in China and the US) Germany is expected to return to growth in Q3, reaching annual growth of 1.8% for 2014 as a whole – more than four times faster than last year.

Brand Britain is booming and markets across the globe are hungry for UK goods. Now is a good time for UK businesses to look overseas. Demand in Britain's more traditional markets, such as the US and Europe, isn't as high as it was two or three years ago, yet many emerging economies such as Brazil, India, China and many parts of the Gulf are growing very quickly.

With just eight weeks to go, the British Chambers of Commerce International Trade Conference 2014 – Global Network, Global Opportunities offers the perfect opportunity for both new and existing exporters. The Conference will bring together exporters, policymakers and business leaders, to meet our UK and overseas network and get connected to opportunities around the world. The Conference will be taking place in The Brewery in London on the 9th October. So hurry and book your place now!