We’re less than two months into 2017, and it’s already surpassing many of our expectations. The highlight so far is undoubtedly being selected as an Export Champion in the prestigious CommonwealthFirst programme.
Exports are essential for the UK economy, especially where engineering is concerned. Thanks to the expertise of engineering firms in the UK, many countries around the world rely on specialists like ourselves to supply the products, solutions and technologies they need to develop and deliver their services.
However, most engineering firms predominantly export to a select number of countries – and often these aren’t part of the Commonwealth. Given how the markets and economies in many Commonwealth countries are growing, we saw an opportunity to share our knowledge to help companies in these countries to maximise their potential and expand.
As one of only 100 UK-based SMEs that has been chosen to represent the UK, being part of the world-class CommonwealthFirst programme helps us to do this. Through the initiative, we’ll be building relationships with and supporting businesses in 53 diverse English-speaking countries that have similar legal practices, business practices and values. It gives us a unique opportunity to access the markets in these countries, much to the benefit of their economy and the United Kingdoms.
In 2015, the UK exported an impressive £512 billion of goods and services worldwide, but it imported an estimated £548 billion – creating a deficit of £36 billion. The year before, the UK exported £48 billion to the Commonwealth, which is less than 10% of the value of global exports. We believe that boosting exports to the Commonwealth could be critical to cutting this deficit and enabling the UK to achieve a better balance between imports and exports.
We’re excited to start our work in the Commonwealth programme and will be doing everything in our power to blaze a trail for other SMEs to thrive in the Commonwealth trade arena. Stay tuned for updates!