Recession spurs exports

2 May 2012

While figures show the UK economy languishing in the paralysis of a double-dip recession, another more positive story is unfolding as UK firms battle to rebalance the economy.

Manufacturing is undergoing a modest resurgence. But the exciting news is that more and more businesses are choosing the export route to survive and thrive.

Chamber International saw a major increase in the number of overseas trade documents processed over the last year. Transactions rose by more than a quarter from 16,500 to more than 20,500.

It means that the organisation is now ranked with London, Manchester and Birmingham as one of the biggest processors of international trade documents.

“We haven’t seen overseas activity like this for a decade,” says international trade director Tim Bailey. “Some of this is new business but there are other factors at work. To a large extent the recession has rewritten the rules for international trade with companies waking up to the fact that massive gains can be made in expanding markets such as China.

“We’re seeing more companies looking overseas for growth and existing exporters doubling their effort. The region is clearly getting it right.

Figures show that exports are increasing to other high growth markets such as Brazil, Russia and India.”

Chamber International figures also clearly illustrate how international trade has changed dramatically over the past few years. While engineering, textiles and chemicals were the top three sectors in 2007 and again last year, food and drink along with scientific and healthcare have become increasingly important.

Statistics also show that China has gone from third to first in the top export stakes with Turkey making a rapid rise to second. Saudi Arabia has gone from pole position to fifth while despite its political upheavals Egypt has surged into fourth place.

“With domestic demand sluggish more and more firms appreciate the stark reality that if they miss out on exporting they may be out of business a few years down the line”

 Chamber International - Recession Story