Brexit has had a minimal effect on International Trade – there’s never been a better time to export!

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Posted 16 November 2016 | 0 Comments

The vote to leave the European Union has had minimal impact on exporting in the UK so far, according to latest figures from British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL.

The BCC Quarterly Economic Survey (Q3), released four months on from the UK’s historic vote to leave the EU, indicates that export growth diverged among sectoral lines, with manufacturers outperforming the service sector.

Adam Marshall, Director General of British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Our latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook suggests that while the depreciation in the pound has benefited some manufacturers when it comes to exporting, the services sector continues to face challenges, with the balance of businesses in the sector expecting an improvement in sales.

“However, it is important to note that while the UK’s economic growth may slow further, we are unlikely to enter a recession.”

Marshall went on to say that the Chancellor should use the Autumn Statement to improve direct financial support for firms who are looking to access new markets without bureaucracy or delay.

“Enabling businesses to attend trade missions, trade fairs, commission market research or make themselves export ready would be a shot in the arm for our trade performance at a time of uncertainty.

“Maintaining face-to-face support for exporters is also crucial, as so many business people need advice, encouragement and assistance easily available at a local level.”

Deborah Hancox, Export Manager at West Cheshire & North Wales (WCNW) Chamber of Commerce, is responsible for just this in the Cheshire West and North Wales regions.

She said: “Our Chamber export documentation applications have been steadily increasing month in, month out throughout 2016, with a record number of applications received at our Chester office resulting in a 25 % increase compared to 2015.

“Although this is just a snapshot of export activity in the West Cheshire and North Wales region and does not include exports to EU countries, it is encouraging that Brexit has not yet had an impact on confidence since the June Referendum. There has been no decline in submissions so far.

“Following our membership survey last quarter, we understand that the near-term outlook for businesses in the West Cheshire & North Wales area appears resilient and that they are reporting more positive conditions than in the wider North West region.

“It is too early to tell whether this is driven by the specific industries in the area or by local economic conditions.

“The higher than normal exposure to manufacturing in the area for example, which had seen a benefit in terms of exports due to the weaker exchange rate, may be one of the reasons.”

The Chambers of Commerce work to ensure that UK businesses have access to practical export help and advice, by continuing to expand their Global Business Network.

Robert Ellis, Principal at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, said: “If you’ve never exported before, there’s no better time to start as the fall in value of the pound offers a great opportunity. Major help is available from the Chamber and the D.I.T (Department of International Trade).