Most companies expect to increase the amount of goods they export this year as investment plans are stepped up in the light of surging demand from emerging economies, a new study has shown.
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Manufacturers group the EEF said that despite the forecast, the UK will have to match the growth rate of South Korean goods and services exports of almost 9% a year in the decade before the 2008 recession.
A survey of 100 companies showed that exports accounted for more than half the turnover of two-fifths of those questioned.
Two-thirds of firms said their exports had increased last year, some by more than 20%.
The report also revealed that companies still face “substantial hurdles” in breaking into new markets, including trade barriers in Brazil and Russia.
EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: “These figures show that the ‘march of the makers’ is very much under way in export markets. With companies stepping up their investment plans to grow their exports and enter new markets, this can only boost their performance still further.”
Ms Hopley continued: “All the evidence shows that companies with a greater involvement in multiple export markets tend to be better performing. The more companies we can get into this position, the higher the benefits will be for our economy.
“The challenge for Government is to provide the framework to help industry fulfill its growth potential and hit the Chancellor’s £1 trillion target.”
Peter Russell, of RBS, which helped with the study, said: “These findings resonate strongly with what manufacturers are telling us. They are accessing new markets and winning export orders, often against strong local competition, which is testament to the design, innovation and quality of UK manufacturers.”
The Press Association
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