Coventry and Warwickshire “strongest exporter in the West Midlands”

Coventry and Warwickshire “strongest exporter in the West Midlands”

15.6% of firms across Coventry and Warwickshire are exporting – the highest of any LEP area in the region.

And trade experts based at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce say that it can be improved further if more firms tap into the support available to overcome some of the obstacles to trading overseas.

The research found that the USA was the top export market for the whole of the Midlands, with Germany and France following closely behind. Australia was next on the list, with Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands making up the next of the top seven, highlighting the importance of EU markets.

Government organisations, including the Department for International Trade (DIT), are the most likely to be asked for support (56 per cent) while Chambers of Commerce (32 per cent) were also high on the list.

In Coventry and Warwickshire, DIT services are delivered by the Chamber’s International Trade Hub meaning companies are able to access the best possible help in exporting overseas from under one roof.

Ajay Desai, Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a really positive story for Coventry and Warwickshire and for our businesses’ determination to trade overseas.

“We have worked hard to promote the benefits of exporting to those companies that don’t and to offer additional support to those that do to find new markets.

“The fact that we have DIT services here and additional international trade help and membership means that the Chamber in Coventry and Warwickshire is the go to organisation for support with exports.”

Companies that don’t export listed a series of barriers from not knowing where to start through to regulations.

Those that do sell abroad said local regulation & standards, supply chain & logistics, paperwork and tariffs & taxes proved to be the biggest obstacles when they first started to export.

James Ahearne, International Trade Commercial Executive at the Chamber, said those barriers could be overcome with assistance.

He said: “Not to be blasé about it, but the Chamber is helping businesses with all of these issues on a daily basis.

“We are leading on the new AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) scheme which enables companies to streamline their processes and fast-track goods through certain customs procedures when exporting overseas.

“But there’s lots of face-to-face and one-to-one support on offer too because every business has a different product or service and we are here to help them to sell them overseas. Not only is that great news for the business but also for the regional economy too.”