SMEs shying away from international trade

25 Sep 2017

A new report shows that global uncertainty is deterring SMEs from international trade, leaving them to focus more on their domestic markets.

According to the report, American politics (29 per cent) and Brexit (20 per cent) are seen by SMEs to be the greatest threats to global growth today, as is conflict, war or terrorism (15 per cent). Two-thirds (65 per cent) are concerned about the state of the global economy, and over half (53 per cent) of SMEs consider the performance of the local economy over the past 12 months to be good.

The study of SME owners and decision makers in the UK, US, Canada and eight other countries, also shows that 33 per cent expect the coming year to deliver improvement.

A spokesperson for the report said currency volatility is the number one concern amongst SME owners. “Large and small businesses across the world have been impacted by foreign exchange fluctuation over the past year, and this is causing many SMEs to shy-away from international trade, to avoid such risk,” he added.

According to a separate report by Cebr for World First entitled ‘Thinking Global: The route to UK exporting success’, with the value of overall UK exports stagnating, the UK looks to miss the target set by the Government in 2012 to raise the level of exports to £1 trillion by 2020. Around 42 per cent of UK SMEs believe that Brexit will have a negative effect on exporting. The share of SMEs exporting has also declined and the UK ranks in the bottom five of European nations for SME exporters.

At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to UK SMEs are able to assist with all aspects of business performance including ensuring that adequate measures are put in place to protect the health of your business, both now and for the future.   Contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist.  

Further reading: Half of exporters yet to update trading plans