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Is 2015 the year to take your business global?

POSTED: 17th December 2014
IN: Business news
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Many firms will expand overseas next year.

undefinedFor many firms with ambitions of global growth, 2015 will be the year to start the international expansion.

British businesses are likely to target the EU first when taking their operation into foreign markets, owing to benefits such as not having to pay duties or go through customs checks when sending goods to fellow EU states.

Overall, one in six UK employers (16 per cent) have plans to expand their enterprise into Europe within two years, research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown.

Taking into account the many organisations already active overseas and those with plans to grow beyond the EU, almost a third (31 per cent) of British companies could have an international presence in two years' time.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said UK businesses have been growing and taking on new staff this year, with many feeling confident enough to adopt a global outlook.

He added: "It's interesting that the bulk of those employers want to build their brands in the European market, reiterating how important the EU is as our key trading partner."

A separate report pointed out that UK exporters "remain steadfast" despite the recent slowdown in global growth.

Nearly a third (29 per cent) of exporting companies said sales had increased in the third quarter of 2014, while 61 per cent said they had stayed consistent.

The majority (59 per cent) of firms selling overseas were positive about their profitability improving in the coming year.

Phil Couchman, chief executive of DHL Express UK and Ireland, which conducted the research with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said UK businesses of all sizes have a "great opportunity" to expand internationally.

He added: "Recent growth figures and the ongoing discussion about the future of the UK's position in the EU have created some uncertainty, but it is important to remember that there is a huge demand for British products within and beyond Europe."

Despite the reasons for positivity, the BCC stressed that there is still substantial scope for improvement in the export market. The business network urged the government to provide "sustained, high-quality support" for exporters in areas such as accessing finance and investing in skills.

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