The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Bibby Financial Services (BFS) have revealed that uncertainty around Brexit, tariffs and exchange rate volatility are holding back the potential of many UK exporters.
The recent survey included 1,140 internationally active UK businesses, and found that general uncertainty around Brexit was considered the top barrier to export, listed by almost half (47%) of businesses, followed by specific concerns around tariffs and exchange rate volatility, listed by 35% and 33% respectively.
Administrative requirements or regulation were considered a barrier by 30% of businesses and the lack of free trade agreements by 23%. Only 7% of internationally active businesses said that they do not face any exporting barriers.
It is not only internationally active UK businesses that being held back from exporting. Among businesses that currently only trade in the UK (338 respondents), just 17% say that they do not face any barriers to export. Therefore, 83% face barriers to reaching their potential.
The lack of clarity around the UK’s future trading environment is clearly taking its toll. General uncertainty around Brexit is considered the top barrier to export by UK-only businesses (listed by 31%) as well.
As a result, amongst businesses currently trading only in the UK, just 7% per cent expect to begin importing or exporting over the next three years.
The research also highlighted the issues that businesses are increasingly facing in relation to stockpiling, payments and the transportation of goods. When asked about business changes experienced over the past 12 months:
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