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2015 sees exporting boom for UK small businesses

Germany remains the primary exporting destination for UK small firms, while exporting to China has grown by 21%

UK-based small and medium-sized enterprises enjoyed a 6% increase in total payments from Europe in 2015 in comparison with 2014, according to Barclays’ new Business Abroad Index.

Eight of the UK's top 10 exporting destinations were in Europe, with Germany the number one export market for UK small businesses for the second year in a row; followed by France, the US and the Netherlands.

The index also reported an increase in UK exports to China with a 21% uplift on 2014.

With Ireland, Italy and the UAE also listed in the UK's top 10 export markets for the second year running, the study ties in with recent research by FedEx Express which found that many UK businesses are missing out on lucrative export opportunities in lesser-known markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

The index also revealed that exports from the UK’s retail and manufacturing businesses grew significantly in 2015, increasing by 36% and 10% respectively.

Steve Childs, head of international for business banking at Barclays, said: “British products and services are in demand, and exploring overseas avenues delivers huge growth potential.

“The first port of call when considering exporting is identifying a target market and researching it thoroughly; learning the culture, economic and political environment, customs, market, how business is conducted and most importantly, the competition.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.