Government actions and policies are some of the greatest challenges to UK exporters according to a new business survey conducted in the South West on behalf of Cronus Logistics. More than a third of respondents said political and governmental actions were a real challenge to their businesses on a par with non-payment for goods and services.
The Insider survey was carried out in September for the Irish-based logistics company as part of its export sales drive in the South West of England. Although government actions topped the list of challenges for exporters in the region, there is also concern about cultural and language barriers.
Nicola Walker, Managing Director of Cronus Logistics, believes the survey has highlighted some of the obstacles to more businesses exporting from the South West.
“Just over 35% of South West businesses have been exporting for more than 21 years and more help is needed to support their efforts. It is staggering to see that nearly 50% of the people we spoke to said they had not received any help with an export strategy.”
The survey highlighted the majority of exports from the region are destined for Western Europe and Ireland which remains an important market and with just over 21% surveyed said they were looking to grow sales there.
Nicola Walker sees the Irish market as ideal for first-time exporters due to the common language and proximity to mainland UK.
“Around a quarter of the companies in the survey generate between 11-20% of their income through overseas sales. There is a great deal more to come from the Irish market and both national and local government need to support exporters who are interested in this venture. For the past year we have been saying to potential clients looking to increase traffic across the Irish Sea that exporting to Ireland is simple and a great taster for future export developments. With so many respondents believing that government rules and regulations are a barrier to this, then maybe it’s time to address those by partnering with a supply chain partner offering the opportunity to reduce road miles, CO2 emissions with an innovative door to door supply chain solution in Ireland.
* Other highlights from the survey include: just over 21% of respondents saying that changes to competition law giving equal opportunities to compete would be an important change to the terms of UK’s current EU membership that would most benefit their business. Europe continues to be the largest export market followed by North America but with Ireland in third place with 43% of respondents citing it as their major export market. Nearly half those surveyed (48.6%) said they had not received any help in developing an export strategy.