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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

CBI/BDO: Lack of finance to support exports "shackles international ambitions"

24 October, 2013
Too many medium-sized businesses are locked out from the essential sources of growth finance and support they need to export and invest abroad, according to the CBI and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

In a new joint report from the CBI and BDO, Go Your Own Way, the Government and private sector are urged to get behind the international ambitions of medium-sized businesses (MSBs), which are being held back by a lack of access to finance, as they journey from non-exporter to global business. CBI research has shown that MSBs could be worth an additional £20bn to the economy if only the UK can unlock this growth, particularly at a global level.


The CBI and BDO warn a lack of access to export finance could hurt the economic recovery if financial providers, both private and UK Export Finance (UKEF), fail to plug the gap. Only 52 small and medium-sized firms received direct assistance from UKEF in the last year. The report calls for an ambitious expansion in UKEF support which would aim to directly assist 250 small and medium-sized businesses by 2015.


The report highlights that half of medium-sized businesses (MSBs) see ‘exporting to new markets’ as core to their growth strategy and three quarters (78%) of MSBs expect to generate more revenue from investment abroad in the next three years. However, it is a matter of concern that MSBs have little knowledge of the schemes that the Government offers and two-thirds of MSBs are unaware of UKEF itself, while 69% of SME exporters are not aware of UK Trade and Investment, the Government department charged with helping business succeed in international markets.

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