Four-fifths of small and medium sized enterprises fail to embrace opportunities overseas, according to a survey by e-commerce company Alibaba.com of 1,400 businesses.
Some 26 per cent consider themselves too small to trade with partners from outside the UK, with cultural and language barriers (21 per cent) and trust issues (24 per cent) the main deterrents.
Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, says: ‘Small businesses need not be cut off from the global marketplace or feel that international business is only for big companies. In fact, for many smaller firms, trading abroad can be the path to greater success and growth.’
Cahn adds that countries in the Far East are experiencing rapid growth and British goods are in demand there for their quality and sophistication.
He adds: ‘The rewards of international business can catapult a [small] company into becoming a large one very quickly indeed.’