Budget 2014 reaction: Incentives to export

With the announcement that export lending is set to double to £3bn, will we see more British businesses exporting?

The chancellor was keen to emphasise his support for British exporting in the Budget today, citing that the government will be backing our exporters so that “wherever you go around the world you’ll see ‘made in Britain’”.

Promising more support for businesses, competitive finance and cheaper global flights – we hear from a number of commentators on whether the government is really doing enough to help Britain “up its game on exports”:

Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK & Ireland

“It feels like this is a Budget for Brand Britain. Exporting has taken its rightful place as a central pillar in this government’s economic strategy.

“Its commitment to doubling financial support will obviously be a boon to start-ups nervous about the financial risks of exploring new markets. In addition to financial support, we’re also encouraged by the recognition of regional businesses and the infrastructure they need to succeed in other markets.”

John Spencer, UK CEO, Regus

“With confidence rising, small firms are focused on growth and exports are a key part of this. But the UK has over-relied on the fragile Eurozone for too long; real long-term growth lies in non-EU markets.

“Today’s move to double export finance and cut interest rates by a third will certainly encourage small firms to explore international opportunities.”

David Hathiramani, co-founder, A Suit That Fits

“I was particularly encouraged that long-haul flights will carry a lower rate of air duty. We are really proud to work with a talented team of tailors in Nepal where the idea for the business originated, this is a really positive move for us, as we regularly visit our team of tailors, and this will help our team to make even more visits in a more cost effective way.

“We are also looking to expand to territories outside of the UK, US and Ireland where we currently trade. One of the limiting factors for us, and many other small businesses, is the cost of transport for investigative trips – this will ease the burden. As we expand, the increased lending for exporters and the cut of interest rates on that lending sounds good.”

Phil Orford, chief executive, Forum of Private Business

“On export the Chancellor has thrown his weight behind getting more businesses exporting. The package of support announced today will help UK businesses looking to export, particularly those who have struggled to secure export finance. Driving awareness of UKTI and UKEF is as important as increasing the availability of finance and the commitment to increase marketing of UKEF’s products and services is welcome.”


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