“Whilst exporting may be high on the Government agenda it is sadly not on the radar for most SMEs and even the Autumn Statement documents today recognised that the UK’s export performance has disappointed, with economic weakness in the European Union, the UK’s major trading partner, acting as a brake on growth.
“A recent KPMG/YouGov survey of 1400 SMEs found that more a third (36%) of small businesses have no interest in exploring overseas markets, highlighting complex legal regimes, insufficiently strong networks with overseas organisations and lack of tax incentives as the main barriers.
“The £45 million package announced today did not include any tax incentives to help businesses with their export agenda, but instead is aimed at filling the knowledge and networking gap that is deterring first time exporters from taking advantage of new markets overseas.
“Making the leap into overseas markets is not nearly as daunting as it seems on paper. There are some great success stories of SMEs who have achieved massive growth by successfully moving to overseas markets. Linking in with organisations who run trade missions overseas (such as the Mayor of London’s trade Mission to China which KPMG is sponsoring for early 2015) or have good networks abroad is the first step on a journey that is not nearly as complex as SMEs believe it to be and the rewards can be huge.
"The UK is a trading nation. But if we are going to double our exports to £1 trillion by 2020, we need our SME community to explore international trade.
"With developments in e-commerce; promised improved access to information and the £25 million ‘surge for growth’ programme to support projects and trade agreements across the world announced today, the Government is hoping to take Brand Britain out to developing economies and decrease our dependence on the sluggish EU economy.”
Emma Murray, KPMG Corporate Communications
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.