Foreign exports have soared to their highest levels since 2007, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). They found that confidence was high among exporters, and most were optimistic over future sales and profits.
The BCC reported that its trade index (based on export documents issued to businesses) rose to 118.12 in the second quarter of 2013, up 2.9 per cent on the same period last year. Government figures also show the rise in exports.
Some of the biggest increases were in the service and manufacturing sectors. Half of service businesses reported that export orders were up, while 42% of manufacturing firms saw an increase in sales to foreign markets.
And business owners are confident this trend will continue. More than half of exporters believe their profitability will grow this year, with 60% expecting an increase in turnover. Almost a third are planning to take on more staff.
The Milano Whisky Fair (picture by br1dotcom)
John Longworth, the BCC’s Director General said: “For the first time on record, these results are positive across the board. Export sales and orders have gone up, confidence is high and expectations around profitability have increased.”
He added: “But we mustn’t take our foot off the gas. We still need more companies to take the plunge on international trade and for those who export already, to try and diversify into new markets.”
Scottish figures also reflected this trend. Exports grew by 2.5 per cent between January and March this year, compared with the last quarter of 2012.
One growing industry is the food and drink sector, with Scotch whisky making up a quarter of all UK exports in this sector. A growing middle class in emerging markets is helping drive up demand.
Of course, language is often the key to successfully targeting foreign markets. According to the BCC, almost half of businesses say language barriers affect where – and whether – they enter global markets.
Ecommerce is growing steadily worldwide, but most people are reluctant to buy without information in their own language. And it’s also important to thoroughly research everything, from red tape to cultural differences, before going global.
If you’re thinking of expanding your customer base overseas, then Lingo24 can help! Find out more about our translation and foreign language internet marketing services, or get in touch with our team.