America biggest exports market for British businesses

France and Germany second and third largest export destinations

The majority of the UK’s small and medium exporters are targeting the US market, according to a new survey from Barclays Business.

Identifying the top UK export destinations, the study found that 55% of small and medium-sized exporters were selling to America, with France the second biggest market (53%) and Germany third (51%).

Europe was reported to be the most popular continent for British business exporters, with nine European countries taking up the top 11 places, but Australia and Canada also featured.

The research also reported that 37% of small and medium firms who currently trade overseas reach a growth ceiling in the UK within the first three years of trading; a major increase from the quarter of businesses who said the same in 2013.

In addition, business growth was shown to be the top reason driving businesses to export with a third of small and medium companies having stated that they wished they had started exporting sooner.

The findings also suggest an inability for UK firms to take advantage of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) with none of the areas featured in the top 10 export markets.

The UK’s top 10 export destinations are as follows:

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1. US (55%)
2. France (53%)
3. Germany (51%)
4. Spain (42%)
5. Netherlands (39%)
6. Italy (37%)
7. Canada (33%)
8. Belgium/ Luxembourg (31%)
9. Sweden (29%)
10. Australia (26%)

Barclays Business head of international, Steve Childs, commented:

“Thinking about spreading your business’s wings to explore overseas trading opportunities can seem a daunting task on top of usual day to day responsibilities involved in running a business.

“But the case for exporting is strong– the growth opportunities speak for themselves. It is important to remember that there are a lot of resources that small and medium enterprises can access in the early stages of being helped on their international journey.”


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