As the UK Government pursues trade deals with partners across the globe it is focused on encouraging UK exporters to tap into new markets.
What are the opportunities for growth areas across the globe in different markets, how do companies maximise them and how should industry be consulted in driving new trade deals?
How will future trade policy and in-market activity provide support to UK business and what help is available, especially to drive support for SMEs including access to funding. In the near future, UK manufacturers will face a new paradigm which may require new skills. As they prepare to enter these new markets how do they plan and respond?
PES Performance managing director, Mike Maddock, explains his thoughts on how British business should respond to these global challenges.
What are the opportunities and growth areas across the globe in different markets?
“We must continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach and improve our relationships throughout the globe and make it known we are a trusted partner.
“The Government, through the Department for International Trade (DIT), need to work even closer with the business community to set out a clear strategy and identify key markets. Leveraging the existing markets, such as the US and Canada, and a realigned approach to the EU. Remember we have not exported to the EU we were the EU!!
“The emerging markets are still in Asia (including India), South America and the African continent. There will be a balance of opportunity and risk, and dependent on how the government can underpin that risk, supported by trade deals, will determine how business will open up these new markets.”
How do companies maximise these opportunities, and how should industry be consulted in driving new trade deals?
“With support from government attempting to create as many guarantees and safeguards as possible, and to ensure that the trading relationships strongly supports both partners.
“We must not forget our ability to innovate and therefore invest in and support emerging markets with our expertise.
“The consultation for manufacturers should be headed up by business membership advisory groups. MAKE UK with over 20,0000 members has a finger on the pulse of the UK’s manufacturing community and has members who can give real time feedback.
“Whilst we have a majority Government, with the ability to make things happen, I hope they will still be willing to be challenged and embrace open debate, for the domestic and international agendas.”
How will future trade policy and in-market activity provide support to UK business and what help is available, especially to drive support for SMEs including access to funding?
“The future trade policies will be what underpins this whole eco structure and our ability to do business with the world. We need to arrive at deals as quickly as we can and then continue to refine those relationships. They won’t be perfect, BUT we should not wait for these perfect relationships to happen!
“There is support from the DIT and they have been superb at offering advice on the markets. They have people on the ground and the British Consulates are an amazing support. There is also support with export finance to help de-risk businesses venturing into new markets.
“Investment is needed in our businesses to help make them fighting fit in the new digital age. It is crucial to help accelerate the UK forward, to be at least on par with our global competitors.
“We need a clear Industrial strategy that embraces all elements of R&D, manufacturing, the digital future, productivity, the green agenda, and skills should not be a separate policy.
“Soon UK manufacturers will face a new paradigm shift which may require new skills. How we plan to close the skills gap for the new generation and retraining of the existing work force must be No1. priority.
“To underpin this the government must invest out of the pandemic by keeping the promises to invest in R&D, as a % of GDP, a recapitalisation programme and investment in skills, at all levels.
“As a country we are going to have to be bold. We must retain the bandwidth to keep a focus on the changing landscape and remain dynamic. We need to give businesses the confidence to invest and not lockdown. With investment manufacturing will help to rebalance the UK economy.”
This is an excerpt from the Make UK Online Leadership Summit – ‘Resetting UK Manufacturing‘, in partnership with Rockwell Automation. 18th November 2020.