Institute of Export's expertise called on by UK media

Fri 25 Jan 2013
Posted by: IOE News
IOE News
As David Cameron seeks a legacy to reform the European Union, the media continues to call on our director general Lesley Batchelor for expert comment and to explain what the implications are for exporters and businesses working in international trade.

A hat trick of broadcast interviews this week has seen Lesley feature on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money Programme and BBC Radio York.

This morning Steph McGovern, business correspondent at BBC Breakfast sought Lesley’s views on why the UK is not more exporting more.

The vibrant outside broadcast was hosted by Hainsworth Textiles in Pudsey – a dynamic exporter which is renowned for manufacturing blankets worn by the African tribes and cloth worn by the Queen’s Guards outside Buckingham Palace. The company’s commitment to on-going investment is reinforced by a recent £400, 000 injection into the mill which has created new jobs.

Lesley said: “Successes like Hainsworths are not as common as we would like them to be. This is an excellent case of diversifying and understanding what people need and delivering what they want.”

On the subject of trading outside the EU, the director general commented: “We hope to boost exports with morel complex markets with China, Russia and the Indian markets but this takes time and preparation. Although we’re beginning to see some changes now, we need to remember this is long term growth plan.”

The Prime Minister’s speech was at the heart of Lesley’s interview on Radio York. Lesley observed that, although the Prime Minister had raised some interesting points about the EU this week, he had omitted to mention that although Germany is subject to the same regulations as the UK, it has increased its volume of exported goods to China, substantially representing 34% of their world market, whereas the UK has only managed to reach 3.3%.

According to Lesley, the difference in success levels is partly due to Germany’s attitude and their approach to education. She said: “In the UK we have young people that don’t think about international trade and the fact that we need to export to survive.”

On Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money, Lesley outlined why the UK is Germany’s single biggest trading partner. She explained that here in the UK, we are experts in a number of areas such as aerospace and energy, with our healthcare being second to none. Our director general emphasised the wealth of quality in the UK’s manufacturing companies. She outlined the importance of continuing to work hard to develop this offering and to understand the respective cultures of the markets which we are targeting.

Regarding her views on the EU, Lesley stressed the importance of how belonging to the union enables the UK to be part of the free trade agreements – thereby enabling countries to buy and sell to each other. In contrast to this, trading with countries outside the union can be costly in terms of both money and resource – entailing a plethora of paperwork and possible delays.

For advice on exporting or international trade contact our team on 01733 404400.