Alan Pickering, managing director at Unison, a Scarborough-based manufacturer of tube bending machines, commented:
“Exporting into mainland Europe is extremely difficult, they have a much more patriotic nature. For example, if a German company can buy from a German company, they will, even if it is an inferior product. In the UK we are much more price sensitive and have no loyalty. Looking at our car industry and what happened to the Bombardier contract, albeit a Canadian owned company, British jobs were sacrificed for German jobs – it is crazy.
The rest of the world still recognises the innovations that British Engineers bring to the table and are more open to our offerings.
The British Government needs to help small businesses finance these deals. We don’t seem to have the expert knowledge in how to plot our way through the mechanisms required, such as letters of credit.”
Sharon Lane, general manager, Tees Components, said:
“Our established markets are in North America, Western Europe and the Middle East. Whilst we are well established in these markets, any assistance that could be given for us to try to break into developing markets would be welcome.”