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Expert comment on Liam Fox's UK export strategy speech

Posted by Warwick Business School at 23 August 2018, 00:10 CET |
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Expert comment from the University of Warwick on Liam Fox's UK export strategy speech, by Stephen Roper, of Warwick Business School, who is a Professor of Enterprise and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre, which researches what drives SME growth.

Professor Stephen Roper said: "Brexit uncertainty makes the situation more difficult for many exporting SMEs. Around two-thirds of all exporting SMEs currently sell outside the EU, however, and many may see the development of a more global export footprint as an important mitigation strategy in the face of uncertainty about future European trade.

"Among the government's new export support initiatives it may be the 'Export Champions' which are most important for small companies.

"Recent survey data suggests that around 1 in 5 SMEs export with a further 1 in 10 saying they have exportable products or services but choose to focus on the UK market. For most time-poor leadership teams in non-exporting SMEs the key question is not 'how to export' but 'why should I take the export risk?' This is a question of hearts and minds.

"Here, the case studies and example of the 'Export Champions' can be important in stressing the business benefits of exporting. Mentoring or bespoke advisory services can then be valuable in helping export virgins with the 'how to export' question."

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