With Brexit less than a year away, and counting, uncertainty still remains as to what it will mean for UK business,
particularly in relation to international trade. While the UK government is certainly banging the drum to drive exports,
the task remains firmly in the hands of UK business to drive growth and success outside the single market. None more so
than for small business.
By defining its own future and capitalising on change without waiting for the political process to complete,
UK business has the opportunity to achieve future success as it targets new markets globally and beyond Europe.
True change and true success will be driven by the innovation required to overcome the disruption caused by recent
geopolitical events and the positive outlook that UK business is adopting as it approaches such a defining moment
speaks volumes for the future.
The UK Government certainly has an important and ongoing role to play and recent examples from its agencies
highlight the efforts being made in parallel to Brexit. Notably, UK Export Finance (UKEF) has doubled its
capacity to trade with Singapore (up to GBP£4.5Bn) for both UK business exporting to Singapore and Singapore
business importing from the UK. This support is becoming increasingly important given the positive sentiment
being attributed to, and forecast appreciation of, the Sterling by Singapore business as seen in recent
East & Partners (East) currency research.
This currency research also provides an indication of UK business’ trade planning in its search for replacement markets.
UK importers and exporters forecast high growth in their use of currencies other than the USD and EUR and have forecast
a reduction in their use of the EUR over the coming months.
Also of critical importance here is the difference in forecasts between business size; 100 percent of micro businesses
and SMEs are looking to use currencies outside the USD and EUR, a big contrast to the Corporate market where the figure
is only 50 percent.
Facilitating this trade and growth is essential as the need for cross border payments and international trade finance
solutions increases across all segments. East’s latest trade finance research clearly shows the difference in primary
providers between the lower and top end of town. International providers, with their global footprint and knowledge
of international markets, focus their business on larger corporate segments while Micro businesses and SMEs are mainly
served in a holistic manner by domestic providers who are less able to facilitate growth and business development in