SMALL and medium-sized enterprises remain committed to trading internationally and continuing to seek out new opportunities overseas, new research from HSBC Commercial Bank reveals.
Of those SMEs which currently trade overseas, four in 10 (38%) are looking to increase the number of countries in which they operate or have connections, with almost half (46%) expecting to continue operating in the same markets.
New businesses, those SMEs under a year old, also recognise the importance of looking to overseas markets, with more than one in five (22%) already generating revenue from overseas sources.
In fact 90% of young businesses already with an overseas presence are looking to increase the number of countries they are trading with.
The Government has recently announced an aim to double UK exports to one trillion pound this decade, and SMEs will play a big part in helping to reach that target.
Our research highlights that small and medium-sized businesses are up for the challenge and even newly created businesses recognise the benefit, and are looking to further increase their footprint overseas.
At HSBC, we forecast that UK international trade will grow by 60% over the next 15 years, so it is encouraging to see so many businesses positioning themselves to grow by taking advantage of international opportunities.
Due to the critical role international trade will play in ensuring the future success of UK businesses and the wider UK economy, we also recently launched the £4bn HSBC International SME Fund to help SMEs who trade or aspire to trade internationally.
The research also found that four times as many SMEs currently operating overseas expect to expand rather than contract their companies (38% vs 10%). And four in 10 (40%) started overseas trading in order to increase turnover.
Whether companies are looking to take their first step to trading overseas or they are seasoned exporters looking to start in a new market, there is a network of advice.
This includes HSBC’s international experts, Government support from UKTI, plus local chambers of commerce, who can advise on overcoming important concerns and lead to successful internationalisation.
We’ve also just launched a major initiative that combines millions in lending with substantial financial regards and a unique opportunity to meet and network with successful business leaders from around the world.
Go to www.hsbc.co.uk/global connections or send an email to email@example.com