HSBC launches ‘manifesto for British exports’

Posted on 8 Oct 2013

Bank claims companies could export much more and submits manifesto with policy recommendations for the Government to address challenges faced by British exporters.

HSBC’s Global Connections report reveals strong promise for the high-tech manufacturing sector and British exporters.

Two reports from HSBC highlight the unrealised potential that British companies have for exporting and list a set of policy recommendations to government to enable more exporting.

Another HSBC report, Equipped for success – A Manifesto for British Exports, identifies the challenges faced by those same businesses and sets out a series of policy recommendations for the UK Government.

Alan Keir, group managing director EMEA and chief executive, HSBC plc said: “Britain’s businesses are among the most innovative and imaginative in the world, but in recent years these talents have failed to deliver significant export growth,” adding, “We know from talking to our customers that many businesses with massive export potential are still holding back from looking overseas.”

The report identifies several important issues facing British exporters. HSBC established an Export Advisory Council in 2013, formed of customers that trade or aspire to trade overseas, to discuss such challenges and ways to overcome them.

Equipped for success – a Manifesto for British Exports’ is the summary of these conversations.

“Over the medium term, industrial machinery and transport equipment will dominate exports of goods, as growth will increasingly be driven by high-technology manufactured products.” HSBC Global Connections

The report simplifies what British exporters need into three items: being able to connect with other parts of the world, receive support with the initial costs and risks of exporting, and more confidence, which comes from clear information about international opportunities.

Chief Executive of HSBC UK, Antonio Simoes, said, “We are confident that the eight practical policy recommendations set out in the Manifesto for British Exports report would make a material difference to the UK’s export potential.”

The HSBC Global Connections reports shows that trade conditions are improving for UK businesses, with 61% of TCI respondents expecting trade volumes to rise over the next six months (up from 54% in H2 2012).

The report also highlights how the UK’s strong reputation in high value-added industries and strong competitiveness will give exporters an advantage in the growing market for infrastructure goods.

Mr Simoes added “HSBC believes that all interested parties, the Government, trade bodies and commercial organisations like banks, need to come together to make international trade the norm, rather than the exception.”

HSBC’s Manifesto for British Exports has eight recommendations:

1. Establish Welcome Centres in key markets overseas, and across the UK
2. Simplify the business visa process to make Britain more welcoming
3. Examine the case for export tax credits for SMEs
4. Expand and improve SME access to export credit guarantees
5. Consolidate existing official support to create a single, clear, authoritative source of advice and assistance for British exporters
6. Actively identify major export opportunities, encourage and support individual businesses to come together to make joint bids
7. Improve access to language training, with a particular focus on languages of faster growing markets
8. Market our strengths, and leverage Brand Britain

The Manufacturer is running an Export Connect event with UK Trade & Investment on October 16

Experts in exporting products and services will advise on marketing, legal and regulatory matters to put delegates in a better position to have the confidence to export.

For more information go to