Exports up but not yet ‘at full potential’

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Exporting activity has reached the highest level on record according the Trade Confidence Index - raising hopes that business will hit the Government’s £1 trillion target by 2020.

The index is a measure of exporting activity and business confidence at 2,300 firms where - a survey shows - 70 per cent believe turnover will improve in the next year.

That figure is a jump of 10 per cent on quarter two last year. At the same time, the amount of trade documentation issued by Chambers across the country - the volume index - has hit a new high of 119.27, showing UK businesses are growing internationally and breaking into new markets overseas.

The report was carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce and parcel firm DHL.

BCC director general, John Longworth, applauded this business optimism but said the UK needed to do more as a nation to ‘create an environment that makes it worthwhile to export’.

He added: “Our exporters are bullish and optimistic about the future, with many expecting an increase in turnover having seen a rise in export sales in quarter two.

“The volume of trade documents issued this quarter suggests that exporting activity across the UK is at an all time high.

“This is fantastic news – as boosting our international trade efforts are key to our long-term economic success.

“But there is still more the UK can do if it is to reach its full exporting potential.

“Our international trade survey published recently showed less than half of businesses have ambitions to grow overseas. I understand this to a degree, as I speak to businesses that have full order books here in the UK. This is why we need create an environment that makes it worthwhile for them to export.”