What our research findings highlight

Based on research with 500 established importers and exporters, our Trading Places report provides an insight into the UK SME’s trading overseas. Supported by in-depth interviews, our report identifies key markets for importers and exporters, views on Brexit, the impact of currency volatility and the complexities faced by UK businesses trading internationally.

We believe that international trade generates fundamental benefits for SME’s who want to grow and develop. However, our research suggests that the number of small and medium-sized businesses trading overseas remains modest with fewer than one in five SME’s either importing or exporting goods and services. Despite this, public and private sector organisations continuously reap the benefits of trading overseas. 

So, SME’s have the opportunity to take advantage of the growth that is available through international trade. What our research continually suggests is that, with the right support and funding, trading overseas can be more rewarding than it is challenging. 

Key findings:

  • Currency fluctuations, logistics, paperwork and managing duty, VAT and freight payments are the biggest challenges for importers and exporters
  • More than two-thirds (67%) of those with FX requirements say they have been adversely impacted by currency volatility in the past year
Download our Trading Places 2017 Report

  • SME’s negatively impacted by currency volatility estimate an average financial disadvantage of £69,669 in the past 12 months
  • Almost a quarter of SME’s (23%) say they have never reviewed their foreign exchange requirements

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