More northern businesses must engage with G20 if UK is to influence post-Brexit international trade

26 May 2017


BRITISH businesses, especially from the regions, including the North, need to dramatically increase their engagement with the G20 if the UK wants to influence world trade after Brexit, says the International Chamber of Commerce  (ICC) United Kingdom.

According to the ICC, which has analysed details of participation at B20 Germany, the UK ranks seventh in terms of business involvement with fewer than half the business representatives contributing than countries including Germany, the USA and China.

No companies from UK regions – including The north, Wales and Northern Ireland – are contributing to shaping world trade and economic policy and a range of strategic UK sectors including automotive, aerospace, construction or IT/technology are unrepresented at B20 Germany.

The ICC United Kingdom analysed data provided by B20 Germany, which provides the platform for business to engage with G20 governments in shaping global trade and economic policy.

The UK ranking - behind Germany, China, USA, India, France, and Turkey - highlights the need for British business to dramatically improve their involvement internationally in preparation for the UK leaving the EU. 

According to the figures, only British two companies from outside London have been involved with in B20 Germany, one from Scotland and the other from the Channel Islands. 

ICC United Kingdom secretary general, Chris Southworth, says: “UK businesses need to play a bigger role in shaping the global trading environment if the UK is to be successful post Brexit". 

“There is a real opportunity to galvanise the voice of business in the regions and showcase UK expertise from outside London. As the UK prepares to leave the EU, we must work together to strengthen participation from companies across the UK, with a focus on the midlands, the north, as well as strategic growth sectors.”

The analysis shows that financial services dominates half of the UK representation of business sectors participating in B20 taskforces, with the remaining 50 per cent comprising commodities, pharmaceuticals, beverages, and hospitality.

According to the figures, only two in five of G20 ‘knowledge partners’ are UK firms; one in seven B20 Task Force co-chairs represent a UK company and 61 per cent of businesses involved were multinationals compared with 39 per cent small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

See G20 Germany - UK participation infographic here.


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