County’s exports boom is praised

Success: Tony Attard's fabrics company Panaz is one of Lancashire's major exporters
Success: Tony Attard's fabrics company Panaz is one of Lancashire's major exporters
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Lancashire is punching well above its weight in the exports stakes, a new report has found.

The North West is exporting nearly four times the national average.

But a large number of firms fear what might happen in the future because of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

A survey commissioned by World First, an international money transfer and FX expert, has found that SMEs in the North West are outperforming their counterparts across the rest of the UK when it comes the value of goods and services exported each year.

The typical SME in the region is generating £1,061,000 a year from exporting.

That’s higher than any other part of the country and almost four times greater than the national average.

The report, entitled Thinking Global: The route to UK exporting success, was conducted by the Centre for Economics & Business Research.

It comes as the global spotlight is firmly on the UK Government and its plans to help UK businesses succeed in the post-Brexit world.

Yet despite this renewed focus on new markets and trade, the report found that only five per cent of North West SMEs have plans to start exporting in the next five years.

The Brexit vote, culture and language were identified as key barriers to exporting by SMEs.

When asked whether Brexit would impact their business’ ability to export, more than two fifths (41 per cent) said that it would hinder them versus only 23 per cent who said it would help them.

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “These figures clearly demonstrate the overwhelming success of north west businesses trading overseas and add to the growing list of economic indicators that show the North West’s economy is in good shape.

“It’s a great time for exporters to compete globally by taking advantage of the current exchange rates.

“The rewards to exporting businesses against non-exporters are generally increased revenues, robust growth and higher profits.”