Government gives SMEs exporting opportunities

Small- and medium-sized companies looking to export goods and services should investigate Trade Partners UK, the government’s trade promotion body.

According to its latest annual report, Trade Partners helped 28,000 companies achieve successful international trade last year, the majority of which were SMEs. This contributed to an export market that comprises 30% of the UK economy.

The organisation offers advice directly to companies who want to export anywhere in the world through its network of advisers around the country. There are two main schemes – Export Explorer and Passport.

The only criteria a business needs to fulfil is that it be “ready to export”. Trade Partners suggests that successful trading in the UK is essential before considering furthering operations.

A checklist is available on the website to help evaluate readiness and identify what needs to be done to be ready. Advisers will give individual businesses an “export health-check” in more detail to determine readiness, which will produce a tailored report.

Once a company is deemed ready, the organisation offers advice on the next steps to take, can put companies in touch with relevant organisations in the UK and abroad and produces a newsletter that covers developments in international trade.

Businesses from any sector can benefit from working with Trade Partners as demonstrated by some of last year’s success stories, which included a clothing company, a supplier of custom-made riding saddles and a firm delivering ferret-related gifts to the US and Germany.

See also Exporting.

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