Small firms in Yorkshire and the Humber, London and South East “leading the way with exports”

Geographical data finds 60% of UK's small and medium businesses intend to trade internationally by 2016

Small and medium businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber, London, and the South East are most likely to be exploring international trade opportunities, according to a new regional YouGov study released today in partnership with Citrix.

Surveying 2,019 small firms, the study reported that businesses across the UK are increasingly looking to export with 50% of those surveyed already trading with countries outside of the UK, a number set to increase to 60% by 2016.

On a regional level, London was the area “leading the way with exports” with 59% of businesses in the city currently exporting, followed by the South East (47%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (43%).

Although small firms in Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England were found to be more likely to source products and services from abroad than to sell overseas.

Regions that were the weakest for exports were Wales and the North East with only 28% and 26% of local businesses exporting goods respectively.

Nationally, businesses in technology and marketing were most likely to be selling products and services abroad but there were higher levels of exporting for specific industries on a regional basis. 34% of small firms in Yorkshire and the Humber expect to see increased international revenues in marketing whilst businesses in the South East (27%) and East Midlands (28%) expect revenue from international trade of IT and telecoms to increase by 2016.

Of the countries regional businesses are choosing to export into, London is “selling everywhere” and was found to be almost twice more likely to sell to China than any other region. The South West is the second “most prolific region” with 11% of its small firms selling to Russia, 7% selling to China, and 13% selling into Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The news follows Startups.co.uk’s Start-up Cities Index 2014 which ranked Yorkshire and the Humber cities Hull and Leeds among the top 25 places to start a business outside of London.

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