- International trade is a topic that is often associated with Brexit in the UK. However, businesses need to understand that there are an array of trading partners globally. As someone with experience as a business owner and Chair of the West Midlands India Partnership with East End Foods and Lioncroft Wholesale, I know the importance of importing and exporting products. Over 50 years ago, East End Foods began importing Indian foods to the UK and exporting to the Middle East, Europe and beyond. While the company has encountered challenges, we have adapted to thrive. For example, the quality of imported goods previously did not meet the required standards of the UK market hence we invested in in-house manufacturing equipment to clean and package ingredients.
Brexit has made the process of exporting goods to Europe more complex, and it has been a challenge for SMEs. Businesses require more time and support but there is a need for clear policies and processes from the government. SMEs account for 9% of UK exporters while another 15% are part of an export supply chain. Supporting SMEs to establish a comprehensive system of export by simplifying the way they operate would increase GDP and promote a growing economy.
Britain is well-known and respected worldwide for products and services, such as the comprehensive UK-India Free Trade Agreement that is being negotiated. I follow the progress of the agreement closely, not just because of our long history of mutually successful trade in the region but also because India is currently one of the fastest-growing economies. In 2022, the UK exported goods and services worth £15.1bn to India, placing it 12th in the list of UK trading partners. Strong, mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements between countries like India indicate that there is willing demand for UK products and services.
It’s probably time UK exporters focus beyond Europe, opening up to the world and building internationally recognised trading relationships as an independent and proud island nation. For example, the number of international students coming to the UK to study is increasing annually, at 12.3%, reaching the 600,000 target ten years early. Studying here forges a bond that makes future business with the UK smoother. There is a movement of people that strengthens ties and relationships across the globe, expanding new channels and trading opportunities. The government needs to support businesses in exporting their goods and services. By pushing British wares worldwide, we will build stronger ties and relationships across the globe, opening new channels and opportunities.
Let’s raise awareness of “Brand Britain” and its importance.
- 25 May 2023
- 9 Views
Jack Wilson is an experienced finance writer and analyst with a deep understanding of the global economy, stock market, and personal finance. He holds an MBA in Finance and has worked in the industry for over 12 years. Jack's insights and commentary have been featured in various financial publications. In his spare time, he enjoys investing and following the latest market trends.
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