Help for first-time exporters

ICC UK is launching an improved support services for first-time exporters and firms looking to get into key emerging markets.

Our initiative follows disappointing figures on UK exports last week, which raised doubts about the extent to which international trade will be able to power an economic recovery in the coming months.

Excluding trade in services, total UK exports fell by £1.2 billion—or 4.8%—in June. As a result, the UK’s trade deficit nudged up to £8.9 billion from £8.5 billion in May. Many economists had previously expected the gap to shrink.

This gloomy picture was compounded by the results of a recent London Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey, which found that two-thirds of the capital’s companies do not sell goods or services overseas. Only a fraction of those surveyed were considering taking the plunge despite relatively favourable exchange rates and new government support schemes.

Stephen Pattison, Director and CEO of ICC UK, said: “This is a crisis of confidence. In uncertain times British companies will look first to consolidate their existing business, whether in the UK or in stable well established overseas markets. They won’t risk the time, effort and investment required to grow exports or to explore new markets.”

“Understandable though this is, it is not the best way to get through the current crisis. We need economic growth, and we need that growth to be led by exports”.

ICC UK already provides a range of tools to help companies to trade internationally—the best known of which is “Incoterms 2010”, our standard contractual delivery terms. But we are also working to develop further practical guidance for UK SMEs asking themselves the question “why export?”.

The new ICC UK package will be launched in the coming weeks. For advance briefings, please contact Dorothée Heinze (