Export offers growth opportunities

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South west manufacturers are continuing to look to export as a way of fuelling economic growth, according to the latest South West Barometer from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

Simon Howes

Over half (53%) of respondents that reported an increase in sales turnover within the past six months, and are forecasting increases in the next six months, are already exporting or plan to start exporting.

In addition, despite the ongoing instability within the Eurozone, 75% of firms surveyed aspire to increase international orders by 2013, with one in four aiming to boost export sales by 50% between now and 2016.

Simon Howes, MAS area director for South England, said: “While exporting is not an option for every business, results show that many south west manufacturers are looking to capitalise on increased sales from exporting their goods.”

The barometer has also generated interesting results when compared with the survey conducted a year ago. In 2011, 29% of respondents said they would need help in adapting their products to meet overseas standards. However, in the latest barometer, just 18% said this would be their biggest manufacturing challenge to exporting.

Russell Jones, regional director at UK Trade and Investment South West, added: “Many businesses considering international trade are often put off because they feel they don’t have sufficient knowledge of the processes or legislation involved.

“Targeting and researching the right export markets is essential for success and that’s where UKTI and our partner organisations can provide invaluable support to help the region’s businesses flourish overseas.”