Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has highlighted the need for more support for exporters as a national survey revealed a quarter of them had seen a decrease in sales this year.
The British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook (TCO) for Q2 2022 showed the proportion of exporters reporting increased overseas sales was unchanged from Q1 at 29%, while those reporting a decrease remained at 25%. Manufacturers trading overseas were particularly under pressure, with only 39% expecting their profitability to increase in the next twelve months, compared with 48% of service sector exporters.
The data for the TCO is taken from the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey, to which Greater Manchester Chamber is one of the largest contributors.
Susana Córdoba, Head of International Trade at Greater Manchester Chamber, said: “The Trade Confidence Outlook reflects what exporters are experiencing in Greater Manchester. Our own figures show that while export consignment values in the first quarter of this year were 6% and 31% up from the same period in the previous two financial years, the number of businesses processing export documents with our Chamber is still 7% below the levels seen in 2019/20 for that quarter.
“Brexit and Covid 19 have both hit exports. In the past three years, our team has directly supported more than 1,000 companies of all sizes and sectors to adapt to the new rules of trading and the impact of Covid. Our Brexit Hub continues to be very popular with more than 1,500 traders visiting our hub in the past six months.”
However, Susana pointed out that not all the falls in exports could be blamed on Brexit and the pandemic. “The most recent regional trade figures from HMRC showed the North West had experienced the biggest drop in exports to the Middle East and North Africa,” she added. “The Chamber has joined forces with the University of Manchester to conduct an in-depth survey to discover the reasons behind this fall in our region’s exports to this key market.
“Whatever challenges exporters are facing at the moment, the Chamber is here to help. Our trade team continues to expand our Global Connect Network, which is currently made up of over 700 connections and 52 partnerships covering more than 90 markets across the world. But is it clear that the government must do more to support and encourage exporters to make the idea of ‘Global Britain’ a reality.”
Commenting on the Trade Confidence Outlook, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The combination of supply chain disruption, soaring prices, and the impact of Brexit red tape and compliance costs has had chilling effects on exports, especially for smaller firms already scarred by the pandemic.
“Chambers of Commerce have the expertise and business network to help Government shift the dial. By working together, we can build an end-to-end support service for our exporters which could truly make a difference.”
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s award-winning International Trade Team provides a range of support from helping established exporters with their documentation to advising businesses new to the export market. The Chamber provides customs clearance services to both UK importers and exporters, of all sizes, in every region of the UK. The team has processed just over 2,500 customs entries and it continues to be the leading provider of documentation services in the North of England.
For more information on the Chamber’s International Trade Services, visit https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/international-trade/
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