To help encourage more sales abroad, it is crucial that we better understand the strengths and weaknesses of British businesses that export. This, the first release of the DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index, helps us to do just that.

The Q2 2011 results indicate that UK exports continue to grow and that exporters’ confidence in improving turnover and profitability is relatively robust. However, this hasn’t translated into improvements in cashflow positions or intentions to invest and take on more staff. Ultimately, while business needs to play its part, so does Government and so do financial institutions. Where there are products and services that help the private sector identify and sell into foreign markets, these should be efficiently communicated to the firms that they are intended to help. Without this, an opportunity is being missed.