Trade community remains optimistic for 2023, despite uncertainty

Tue 29 Nov 2022
Posted by: Richard Cree
IOE News

Global Britain - Voucher scheme webinar 2 results

Over half (54%) of over 400 delegates attending an Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) webinar this morning (29 November) reported feeling very (11%) or quite (43%) optimistic about their business’ prospects for international growth in 2023.

The webinar was the second in The Exporting Starter Pack Voucher scheme, a charitable initiative of six free webinars being run by IOE&IT to help promote international trade and equip more businesses with everything they need to sell and send goods overseas.

A further 30% reported feeling neutral about next year’s prospects, while only 16% said they were quite (12%) or very (4%) pessimistic.

Accelerator Programme Poll 1

Negative fluctuations

Asked about recent currency fluctuations, 45% reported having been negatively impacted by the dramatic shifts in the value of the pound over the last three months, with just 8% reporting it had had a positive impact.

Perhaps reflecting the nature of those swings, over a third (36%) said they weren’t sure what the impact had been, while 11% said they hadn’t felt any impact.

Accelerator Programme Poll 2

When questioned about the impact of the recent Autumn Statement, over half (57%) of delegates said they expected the announcements made to have no impact on their business. Matt Vick, an expert on international trade and a panelist on the webinar, explained this was probably partly by design:

“After the disastrous reaction to the previous mini-budget, a minimal, calm reaction – having little or no impact – is probably not a bad an outcome for the Chancellor and the government.”

More alarming for the chancellor was the fact that a third of delegates (31%) felt the announcements would have quite a negative impact (29%) or a very negative (2%) impact on their business. This compared to just 12% who felt the impact would be positive.

There may be trouble ahead

While delegates they did see some challenges ahead in 2023.

For just over a fifth (21%) the energy crisis was the biggest cause for concern, while for 38% it was uncertainty in international markets.

Almost a third stated that post-Brexit rules for trading with the EU would be their biggest business challenge next year.

Accelerator Programme Poll 3

This was supported by a further poll in which, when asked about barriers to trade 80% picked either administrative barriers (27%) or complexity of rules (53%).

The Exporting Starter Pack Voucher scheme continues tomorrow with the first of two webinars looking at Customs Procedures and Documentation.