This development places the onus on smaller businesses that are potentially part of a supply chain to take the initiative and make sure that they are recognised by both UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the relevant industry bodies. It will also allow UK Export Finance to provide wider services within its ‘working capital product’ for smaller businesses.
The Institute of Export and International Trade is pleased to announce that Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) members who have passed the Diploma in Accounting and Business or Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business ACCA qualifications can be fast-tracked into an International Trade qualification from the IOE.
Guest blog from Paul Croucher UKEF
At some point every exporter has to push their boundaries and expand into a new market. In recent years the same has been true for us here at UK Export Finance – the Government Department that works with companies, banks and overseas buyers to provide trade finance and insurance solutions that support UK exports.
It is always rewarding to share our members’ business success stories. This week we are celebrating the news that IOE corporate member Amber Road has acquired EasyCargo, a Shanghai-based global trade management (GTM) solutions provider specializing in complex Chinese trade regulations.
The purchase will enable Amber Road, sponsors of our glittering Gala Dinner to celebrate The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, to capitalise on trade growth driving the need for global trade management solutions in China.
A group of 14 Institute of Export students from various IOE educational courses took part in a field trip to the port of Southampton on 2nd August, and experienced at first-hand the operations of a major international sea port.
As guests of Associated British Ports, the operators of the port of Southampton, they were privileged to take as glimpse into the port movements control room, which acts as the port’s nerve centre, controlling and supervising the movement of dozens of vessels of all sizes, from small leisure craft and passenger ferries, to container vessels and oil tankers. The visit was particularly interesting as it took place just hours before the start of Cowes Week, the busiest sailing event in the UK calendar, which brings hundreds of small vessels into the congested waters of the Solent.
A tour of the port also gave students an excellent opportunity to witness the port’s key areas of activity, namely the 3 “Cs”; containers, cars and cruises, as various vessels catering for all of these product areas were being handled. The container berths were of particular interest as many of the students have direct experience of container shipping in their work environment. The group also viewed some of the port’s bulk handling operations, including the grain and scrap metal terminals.
The students agreed that the visit provided a fantastic opportunity to witness the operational activities which underpin a major world-class port. It is hoped that further field trips to ports and other key shipping and logistics centres can be arranged in the future
The heartening news that UK exports are at their highest level since the recession has coincided with an invitation for the Institute of Export (IOE) to be a key witness at The House of Lords’ Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s influence.
This committee is looking at to what extent the UK social, political and business has an impact on businesses exporting.
At the same time a new report is testament to the hard work, tenacity and innovation demonstrated by the type of vibrant companies we work with at the Institute of Export.
The report’s findings for the second quarter of 2013 based on responses from more than 1,700 businesses and include:
- export orders for service firms hit a record high
- 42% of manufacturing firms reported higher export sales
- 31% of firms expect to increase staff this year
The House of Lords invitation to our Director General Lesley Batchelor was a timely reminder how exporters across the world can be helped or even hindered by the ‘soft powers’ that include their respective government’s foreign policies, its political values and the culture of their country. For example, if the UK is perceived as having ethical and trusted political and business cultures are its export prospects improved?
The IOE welcomed the opportunity to offer our expert opinion on the potential impact of “soft power” on the ability of our members to trade across the globe. David Maisey, Board Member Elect of the IOE and Chief Executive Officer of ICC Solutions represented the institute at the hearing and addressed a number of questions which will help shape a report from the committee.
David’s high performing company – acknowledged as a global leader in providing chip PIN test and certification tools is a double winner of The Queens Awards for Enterprise 2012 in both the International Trade and the Innovation categories. The Awards constitute excellent examples of “soft power” due to their strong currency globally as their kudos and credibility can open doors and help win business.
The phenomenal success of last summers London 2012 Olympics also boosted the “Cool Britannia” brand internationally reinforced with the UK being ranked the worlds most powerful nation in terms of cultural influence, according to Monocle magazines annual soft power survey.
One of the key questions that David Maisey addressed on the IOE’s behalf related to “soft power” and whether UK businesses are using it to its full potential as well as whether UK exporters are taking full advantage of the Commonwealth.
Between them, Commonwealth countries traded around US$4 trillion worth of goods in 2008. Over the last two decades, the importance of Commonwealth members to each other as sources of imports and destinations for exports has grown by around a quarter and third respectively.
Going forwards, however, could the “soft power” of the Commonwealth be underutilised? Research shows the comparative advantage of historical ties is likely to diminish due to a rapidly changing global economic landscape and the increasing ease of conducting business across the globe.
The fact that almost 10 per cent of current Commonwealth member states have not been British Colonies – coupled with the prospect of more new members with little historical ties can likewise contribute to the “soft power” diminishing.
Has “soft power” helped your business whether thats capitalising on the 2012 Olympics, the Commonwealth or even the new Royal baby? Why not send us a Tweet about your success on @IOExport. You can follow our Director General Lesley Batchelor on @LesleyIOExport
The Times newspaper is the latest media publication to invite Lesley to join its forum of expert panellists. The forum, entitled ‘Round the World’, meets on Monday in Liverpool to consider the future of exporting in the North.
An International Trade Survey, commissioned by The Institute of Export (IOE) and conducted by Trade and Export Finance (TAEFL) Ltd, highlights a growing divide between corporates and smaller UK businesses in the drive to enter overseas markets.
Lack of experience, finance and government support as well as ambivalence about Europe are constraining factors for micro, small and medium sized businesses to trade internationally, reports the survey, an annual barometer of Britain’s export industry since 1996.