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10 Chartered Accountants

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Almost two-fifths of small businesses are looking to trade overseas
22 March 2021

Despite the impact that Brexit has had on trade in the UK, a new survey conducted by YouGov has found that 38 per cent of small businesses are likely to trade overseas this year.

The study, commissioned by Lawbite, found that of the 791 small businesses questioned two-fifths were planning to trade overseas, which scaled nationally could mean that 2.28 million SMEs are seeking opportunities outside of the UK.

Of those surveyed, more than half of the businesses operating in the manufacturing sector said that they still plan to trade in Europe, with slightly more than a third saying they intended to trade with markets in Asia instead.

While the survey reveals an appetite for overseas trade, it also found that nearly a quarter of businesses would conduct more foreign trade if the legal and regulatory barriers were less complicated.

This is not surprising given that nearly half of all British exporters to the EU said they are facing new complications due to mounting red tape and border disruption, according to a similar survey recently published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Despite these complications, a follow-up survey from the BCC also found that 44 per cent of UK exporters to the EU market plan to increase activity in the EU export market, while 27 per cent intend to consolidate their current position rather than grow. Only 13 per cent of the businesses surveyed said they intend to reduce exports to the EU.

Links: Nearly a quarter of exporters to the EU considering holding back activity in the EU & More than a third of UK small businesses pushing to trade overseas in 2021

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