US 'Most Welcoming Country' For UK Exports

The US Is An Attractive Destination For UK Exporters, Research Shows

15.08.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

According to new reports, the US is the most common destination for UK business exports.

Figures from Barclays Business show that 55 per cent of all SMEs supply to the US, closely followed by France at 53 per cent and Germany at 51 per cent.

A third of UK SMEs are reaching out to other countries as they have exhausted their options in the domestic market and are looking for sales leads in new economies - although the US remains a popular choice.

Due to technical advances, three per cent of the 519 firms surveyed believe that companies are now reliant on websites to increase their business trade in foreign territory, with an additional 13 per cent agreeing that social media plays an important role in driving growth.

Online payments (30 per cent) continue to be essential as they make business exports outside the UK possible - although regulatory and compliance differences between Britain and foreign markets often cause issues for SMEs.

Steve Childs, head of international SME banking at Barclays Business, commented: "What is evident is that the world of digital has brought export markets closer to home for small businesses - being able to take payments online as well as using the digital channels to market open up opportunities for businesses that may have previously been harder to take up.

"We see a number of businesses export almost as soon as they open, due to natural demand from overseas markets, online and through social media."

But despite the US’s attractive export market for UK firms, SMEs across the country are still struggling to find buyers for their products abroad.

CBI regional director Diane Sharp recently said that despite long-term investments in training, such as apprenticeships at small to medium-sized companies, the government should help them find solutions to increase their ability to progress in foreign markets.

Expert Opinion
This research provides an interesting insight to the key areas that small businesses in the UK are targeting with their products and services, as well as the key issues they are having to consider to ensure that their operations are running smoothly.

"It is of particular interest to see concerns raised regarding regulatory and compliance issues, with such problems highlighting how important it is for organisations to ensure they have quality advice to hand when it comes to legal and regulatory issues.

"SMEs need to ensure they have access to legal specialists who can provide support on this matter."
Steven Beahan, Partner