Yorkshire SMEs continue to look overseas

Yorkshire SMEs continue to look overseas

Over 360 aspiring exporters approached overseas trade specialist Chamber International last year as Yorkshire businesses continue to defy the national downturn.

The number of Yorkshire businesses exporting goods and services last year grew by a mammoth 21%, making it the second highest in the UK, according to the latest research by Santander.

Yorkshire was second only to Wales which recorded a 32% increase in the number of firms exporting during the period, according to the analysis by Santander of the recent goods and services regional export data from the Office of National Statistics.

And Chamber International, which delivers export events and advice on behalf of Chambers of Commerce in West and North Yorkshire, is hoping to play a key role in boosting this number again at the end of 2016 after another strong year.

Chamber International director, Tim Bailey, said: “Yorkshire and, in particular, Leeds City Region, are among the success stories in the UK’s campaign to drive up exports.

“Even though there are significant headwinds for the global economy with China’s slowdown as it continues to change from a manufacturing to a services economy, the knock-on effect for commodity exporters; the Syrian conflict and business uncertainty triggered by the EU referendum, the central message that exporting is good for businesses and the UK economy is being heard in this region.

“Our job is to help businesses understand what they need to do to become successful exporters at the grass roots level. We see many small, and often micro, businesses wanting to be involved in selling abroad but we need to be patient as export development can take up to three years from visiting a market.”

The organisation staged three ‘We are International Export Network’ events in March, June and December attended by 161 businesses ranging from start-ups to some of the region’s best-known companies.

It also saw a total of 291 business people attend its courses and seminars providing practical advice to help enterprises improve their understanding of how to sell overseas effectively.