Lesley Batchelor OBE – director general of the Institute of Export (IOE), who has shaped policy and decision making at the highest levels – can offer expert comment on international trade issues including what a Brexit would mean for UK exporters:
She says: “At a time where a world recession is biting and just less than 50% of our trade is with Europe, we should question whether this is the right time. It’s a huge distraction when we should be working on trading with more markets and selling more to existing markets.
“With the increasing strength leaning away from the western hemisphere it makes sense to consolidate and work with those markets we are already strong in, rather than try and develop new markets when we know that we still have much to learn about exporting from our trade figures.”
The director general says the UK needs to learn how to export properly – following the lead of the Europeans, Germans, Dutch and Italians.
She adds: “As Einstein said: first learn the rules of the game and then go out and play it better than everyone else!”
Awarded an OBE for services to business, the director general, who is a member of the Advisory Panel and an active member of both the All Party Parliamentary Group on Trade & Investment and the All Party Manufacturing Group, gives evidence to the House of Lords Select Committees on various issues affecting international trade and Government support for SMEs.