New markets found
UK exporters switch from EU to beat Brexit doubts
Firms are finding new markets
Almost a fifth (18%) of British firms have found new markets outside the EU because of the uncertainty over Brexit.
Trade relationships have been developed with emerging markets in the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Firms have also diverted trade to traditional trading partners such as Commonwealth nations Australia and New Zealand.
The trends are revealed in A New World for Global British Business by Lloyds Bank and Aston Business School released today.
Separate polling of 96 Scottish businesses undertaken in October for the report found 34% of firms in Scotland have reviewed and made changes to their supply chain because of Brexit and 9% have diversified to create new opportunities outside the EU.
The report found plans are underway for further expansion beyond the EU.
According to the polling, more than one in ten (13%) Scottish businesses plans to expand into new markets around the world. It also highlights business continuity plans, with 19% of Scottish businesses saying they are stockpiling to ensure continuity of service post Brexit.
An estimated £50 billion of exports have been diverted since the Brexit referendum result in June 2016, say the researchers.
Aston Business School analysed 340,000 quarterly export transactions made by 26,000 UK exporters over a five-year period, finding that relative growth in export values towards the EU countries has decreased by an average of 8.7% per year.
This is driven solely by Brexit uncertainty, say the authors.
Gwynne Master, global head of trade for Lloyds Bank, said: “While the clock is counting down to the end of the UK’s post-EU transition period, British businesses are building toward the future and forging new opportunities around the world.
“These findings are the start of a new chapter in the story of global British business and trade. This year in particular, our business customers have faced a myriad of challenges not least of which is the global pandemic.
“Despite this businesses are taking big strategic steps that will change the shape of their import and export business and the future of this great trading nation for years and decades to come.”