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