West Midlands firms are being urged to push exports even harder after increasing overseas sales more than any other UK region in the year to September 2010.
Figures from HM Revenue and Customs released before Christmas show the West Midlands increased the value of its exports by 25.5 per cent to £1.67bn during the 12 month period.
Now, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) international trade director for the West Midlands Doug Mahoney says companies in the region should utilise the services his government backed organisation provides to expand upon that position.
“These figures prove that companies from this region have the world-class products and technology to succeed in today’s global marketplace. The increase is particularly impressive, given the tough economic climate,” he said.
“However, we believe there is a huge amount of untapped potential in the West Midlands and many more firms could be growing their business by reaching new markets.
“Small companies in particular can be put off by the ‘fear factor’ – the cost in time and money of finding new overseas clients, travelling abroad, cultural and logistical issues, language barriers, and, most importantly, when and how they will get paid.”
He pointed to UKTI’s Passport to Export programme for new exporters and Gateway to Global Growth programme for more experienced exporters as support mechanisms which firms should utilise. UKTI also provides tailored market research and financial support for exhibiting at international trade shows.
Mahoney adds: “If you’re thinking about exporting but aren’t sure where to start, contact us now and we will support you every step of the way.”
For the UK as a whole, exports were up by 22.2% to a total of £252bn.