Government must take opportunity to support exporters

Commenting on the trade data for January which showed a slight decrease in the UK’s trade deficit, Mike Cherry, Policy Director at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The strong pound, economic difficulties in the Eurozone and weakening demand from China have been big challenges for those businesses exporting. In addition, depressed oil prices continue to hit the cost of oil imports.
“But there is still a great deal of opportunity to provide support for exporters which must not be missed. Recent FSB research [1] shows that 32% of those members who export say that finding customers is a key challenge.
“At £3.5 billion, the sheer size of the trade gap suggests the Government is going to find it difficult to meet its target to increase the value of exports to £1 trillion and support 100,000 new exporters by 2020. It’s now even more crucial that the decision to refocus UKTI’s role and make exports a priority across government departments leads to better support for small firms and first-time exporters.”

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The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, it now has around 200,000 members across 33 regions and 188 branches.