UK manufacturers want to send nuts to Brazil, says EEF/Barclays report

BrazilIt sounds like coals to Newcastle, but UK manufacturers are trying to send nuts to Brazil; except they’d prefer them to be the kind that have bolts on.

According to a new industry report published today by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF and Barclays, emerging markets are a priority target for many UK manufacturers and Brazil is top of their list.

While the report says that developed economies like the US and the Eurozone remain the top destinations for UK goods, the increasing importance of emerging markets is highlighted by the fact China has moved from being the UK’s 11th largest market in 2007 to 7th last year with Russia and India likely to enter the top ten in the next few years.

Furthermore, the report shows that half the countries among UK manufacturers’ top ten export targets are emerging markets with Brazil at the top of their hit list. One third of companies plan to export there in the next 12 months.

Although much trade data and commentary has lamented the UK’s export performance, the EEF/Barclays report suggests companies are moving from ad-hoc exploitation to implementing sophisticated strategies to boost exports.

There is also a suggestion that while some firms make use of government support when it comes to foreign trade, there is a continued lack of awareness about the help available.

EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said, “If we are to double our exports by 2020 then we simply have to get more and more companies exporting, helped by a government led crusade highlighting the benefits of UKTI.”

Mike Rigby, head of manufacturing at Barclays, said it was encouraging to see an increasing appetite for exports among manufacturers, adding, “If the sector is to be at the forefront of an export-led recovery, it appears manufacturers are up to the challenge. They not only realise the benefits of exporting to markets nearer home but also, of taking their goods further afield to faster growing emerging market economies where the export sales potential is far greater.”

Copyright Ken Hurst 2014 Photo: freedigitalphotos.net

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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