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Opportunity for Chinese-based trading houses with strong Western links

BritCham / CBBC
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The Financial Times reports that more than half of London companies fail to exploit opportunities to export, saying that a mere 4 per cent are aware of a government scheme to help finance them, while 54 per cent do not sell goods or services overseas. This signals a potential gap in the market for trading houses based in China but with strong links to the West.
 
Here is the full, unedited article:
 
More than half of London companies fail to exploit foreign sales
 
By James Pickford
 
More than half of London businesses are exporting nothing and only 4 per cent are aware of a government scheme to help with financing overseas sales, a report has found. 
 
Ministers have advocated an “export-led recovery” as a way of pulling Britain out of the downturn. But about 54 per cent of businesses in the capital, from 52 per cent in 2012, do not sell any goods or services abroad, according to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
 
The 46 per cent proportion of London businesses selling overseas compares favourably with a UK average of 39 per cent.
 
But Colin Stanbridge, LCCI chief executive, said many were failing to exploit the advantages of foreign sales. “Despite the benefits that exporting can bring, many London companies are still not looking at the great opportunities that lie within overseas markets.”
 
The business lobby group called for government action to encourage more companies to export, including a national strategy for exports, ensuring immigration policies do not hamper efforts to trade overseas and improved international air connections. 
 
Some 80 per cent of businesses cited cash flow and payment risk as a factor when considering exporting. However, only 4 per cent of London companies were aware that UK Export Finance, a government scheme, could support them if they were unable to fulfil international orders through bank channels. 
 
The report came as City figures warned that London’s role as a leading exporter of financial services to Europe would be put at risk if Britain retreated from the European Union. 
 
Gerry Grimstone, chairman of TheCityUK, the industry lobby group, told a City audience at Mansion House: “I do not believe the City’s pre-eminent position will survive if we lose our role as Europe’s financial capital, and I do not believe we can maintain that position if we are not part of the single market.”
 
 
 
 
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