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UK businesses going global

26 Mar 2018
Section of the globe connected beams of light

Globalisation is one of the defining trends of modern times, evidenced by the fact that the UK exported over £550 billion goods and services to countries around the world in 2016.

As we roll on with Brexit negotiations, the last quarter of 2017 saw more small businesses becoming optimistic about growth prospects and international trade coming back into focus.

Currency volatility has undoubtedly been one of the biggest impacts from the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016, with the pound plummeting soon after the announcement. However, after a year of negotiations, SMEs are feeling more optimistic about the impact currency volatility could have on their business moving forward.

As sterling starts to steady, SME confidence in their ability to manage currency risk is increasing.

We take a look at the story of UK exports; which countries we trade with, what we trade and the biggest barriers holding businesses back.

Opportunity is out there: The story of UK exports

Stats on global trade, UK export, and UK SME contribution

Evidenced by the fact that the UK exported around £550 billion of goods and services to countries around the World in 2016.

Top 5 non-EU export destinations

Top 5 EU export destinations

As Brexit negotiations rumble on, we can reveal that the UK exported more to non-EU countries like the US, China, UAE and Switzerland, than we did to those nearer-neighbours like Germany, France and the Netherlands.

A fall in consumer spending is the biggest worry for businesses with a rise in inflation close behind. Whilst trends highlight that UK businesses are trying to maximise their position in the global marketplace today, it’s hard to ignore the potential impact of the ever-changing political landscape.

The future of international business banking

World First have now launched the World Account, a new international payments platform designed to make international trade easier, simpler and cheaper. Through World Account, business – large or small – can quickly open multiple international currency accounts in GBP, EUR, USD and CAD free of charge. All these accounts can then be accessed and managed from one platform or through a brand new app using one single sign-on.

Whether you are making an international money transfer for you or your business, World First’s currency experts will work with you to find the right solution for your needs. IoD members can access specially negotiated offers from World First, the IoD's preferred partner of international payments.

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