Performance of UK exporters has been hampered in recent years by demand drying up, protectionist measures that should have passed their sell-by date, a hit to the supply of trade finance and an inconsistent approach to government backed support for exporters.
While this hasn’t knocked manufacturers’ confidence that exporting is great for their business, nor their desire to expand into new markets, it does some important questions about potential export growth in the future. And to complicate matters further there is Brexit. The UK is moving towards a position where it has to deliver a new independent trading framework with the EU and the rest of the world, and barrier-free access to world markets is an ambition rather than our guaranteed destination.
In this report, we examine the export picture for UK manufacturers, as well as the increasing impact of structural factors around the globe which have led to a slowdown in world trade since the financial crisis and what this means for the future.