80% of Britain’s small firms have no plans to export

New survey reveals far greater enthusiasm among French, German and Chinese firms


Just one in five of Britain’s small businesses are planning to explore export opportunities in the coming months, according to a new study.

The report, from serviced office firm Regus, found that entrepreneurs in France, Germany and China are far more enthusiastic about exporting than their UK counterparts. In fact, the researchers discovered that 40% of French small businesses wish to branch out into foreign markets – twice as many as in the UK. Among Chinese companies, the figure rose to 53%. Furthermore, just one in three British firms require their managerial staff to speak a foreign language. In Germany, the figure is almost twice as high. In response to these figures, the authors of the survey stressed the benefits of international trade. Celia Donna, regional director of Regus, said: “Internationally-trading firms are faring better in the economic downturn than those who have stayed within their home markets. “This applies to companies both large and small, and should act as a wake-up call for those still solely focused on domestic markets to find cost-efficient ways of moving cross-border to enhance earnings and spread risk.”

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