Europe still UK’s top business trade market

New research conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce has outlined the importance of the UK and European Union reaching a business-friendly trade agreement regarding Brexit.

The results of an international trade survey, conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce in partnership with DHL, reveals that over the next three years, the top two markets which most businesses plan to start or continue exporting to are Western Europe (44 per cent), and Central and Eastern Europe (32 per cent). Western Europe is also the market which most firms plan to import from (36 per cent).

According to the findings, UK businesses foresee the most significant barriers to trading with foreign markets as tariffs (46 per cent), customs procedures (39 per cent) and local regulations (20 per cent).

The results also show exporters’ strategies over the next three years will primarily be influenced by increased demand from overseas buyers (48 per cent), exchange rates (36 per cent) and the UK’s future withdrawal from the EU (35 per cent).

Businesses looking to import say they will primarily be influenced by the lack of suppliers in the UK (43 per cent), followed by exchange rates (41 per cent), and it being cheaper to import than source in the UK or produce within their business (33 per cent).

In its report the British Chamber of Commerce states that “Europe will not only remain an important market for UK businesses to sell to, but with minimal evidence that UK businesses can substitute domestic inputs for imports in the short term, access to the European market will be crucial for firms to source components.”

Article published 4th January 2018