search
date/time
Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
frontpagebusinessartscarslifestylefamilytravelsportsscitechnaturefictionwhatson
3:15 AM 12th May 2022
business

IoD: International Traders Cautiously Optimistic For The Year Ahead

Image: Tumisu on Pixabay
Image: Tumisu on Pixabay
UK importers and exporters are feeling optimistic about their prospects for growth in the next 12 months, IoD data shows. 42% of businesses who trade internationally expect their exports to increase in the next 12 months (22% expect to decrease), while 27% expect to see an increase in imports (17% decrease).

Of those expecting a change to levels of trade, business leaders are anticipating that the UK economic pressures (64%), the trading relationship with the EU (60%), and the energy crisis (58%), will have the greatest impact on exports.

Similarly, respondents highlighted UK economic pressures (71%), the trading relationship with the EU (61%), and the energy crisis (61%) as issues for imports.

80% of firms that trade internationally believe the government can help facilitate imports and exports, with 68% stating that trade agreements which reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers would be the most beneficial. 28% think soft loans and grants would encourage greater levels of imports and exports, and 22% are looking for better assistance from local embassies.

Emma Rowland, Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Businesses are clearly feeling the pressure from the wider economic environment and expect it to impact their imports and exports over the next year. That being said, we are encouraged that a higher number of firms expect their levels of international trade to increase than decrease. This suggests businesses are slightly more optimistic about their prospects for recovery and then growth following what has been a turbulent few years.

“Our data shows that prospects for exporting are viewed more positively than importing. This may reflect the fact that, despite the uncertain economic outlook, firms are planning for growth. However, the lower confidence in imports reflects uncertainty around global supply chain disruption, and the introduction of post-Brexit import controls.

“Overall, businesses are looking for the government to remove barriers to global trade. While signing trade agreements with partners around the globe is valued, reducing obstacles to trade with the EU must also still be a priority. Firms are burdened by bureaucracy, increased costs and delays at the border between the UK and the EU, and are calling for stability.

“As businesses focus on growth for the next 12 months and beyond, the government must create an environment that makes importing and exporting as easy as possible. This means better assistance from local embassies and trade advisors, grants which support smaller businesses to expand abroad, and cooperation with the EU to put business first on both sides of the Channel.”




Full survey results

Conducted between 13th-27th April 2022

How do you expect your level of imports and exports to change over the next 12 months? By 'imports and exports' we mean any suppliers or sales of either goods or services across the UK border.

Total responses: 332 (filtered for those that import and/or export outside the UK)
  Significantly increase Slightly increase No change Slightly decrease Significantly decrease Don't know  My organisation does not import/export outside the UK
Imports 5% 22% 54% 11% 6% 2% 0%
Exports 9% 33% 36% 13% 9% 1% 0%
 

You said you expect your level of imports and/or exports to change in the next 12 months. To what extent will the following impact your level of imports of either goods and/or services over the next 12 months? 

Total responses: 149 (filtered for those that import and/or export outside the UK, and expect a change in levels of imports)
  To a significant extent To some extent No impact Don't know N/A
The Ukraine crisis 10% 32% 45% 8% 5%
UK economic pressures eg inflation, price rises etc 19% 52% 22% 3% 3%
The energy crisis 19% 42% 32% 3% 4%
Further import controls being implemented later this year* 14% 35% 38% 8% 5%
The general trading relationship with the EU 19% 42% 32% 3% 4%
The pandemic 7% 44% 42% 1% 5%
Other  2% 7% 41% 11% 40%

*This survey was held before the government made the decision to delay the implementation of further import controls originally scheduled for July 2022, but does still reflect uncertainty around post-Brexit import controls.

You said you expect your level of imports and/or exports to change in the next 12 months. To what extent will the following impact your level of exports of either goods and/or services over the next 12 months? 

Total responses: 149 (filtered for those that import and/or export outside the UK, and expect a change in levels of exports)
  To a significant extent To some extent No impact Don't know N/A
The Ukraine crisis 11% 35% 43% 5% 5%
UK economic pressures eg inflation, price rises etc 16% 48% 29% 4% 3%
The energy crisis 17% 41% 34% 4% 4%
The general trading relationship with the EU 22% 38% 33% 3% 5%
The pandemic 8% 42% 42% 3% 5%
Other  3% 7% 44% 9% 37%

What do you think would be most helpful for the government to do to facilitate and encourage businesses to import and export? Please select your top three. 

Total responses: 332 (filtered for those that import and/or export outside the UK)
  Total
Total 332
Professional advice vouchers 10%
Soft loans and grants (such as those provided by UK Export Finance) 28%
Better assistance from local embassies 22%
Organise better/more specific trade missions 19%
Trade agreements which reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers 68%
Government workshops or programmes 8%
Online training courses 10%
Government trade credit insurance 20%
I do not believe the government can have much impact on my imports or exports 20%
Don't know 6%
My organisation does not import/export outside the UK 0%