What Should The Government Do To Boost Exports?
By Bruce Johnstone, Director of the Business Growth and Development Programme at Cranfield School of Management
What should the government do to boost exports? With the economy badly in need of export—led growth this is an important question, and one we are posing to the business owner-managers who complete our online International Business Intentions Survey (IBIS).
The IBIS research still being conducted by Cranfield School of Management, in association with the accounting firm Smith & Williamson, has already produced responses to this question that have varied from the short and pithy to the long, and eloquent. Most business owners made a single suggestion,...
...while others provided responses containing a number of suggestions. We were able to classify all the responses into one or more of these five themes:
1. SUPPORT - Provision of advice, support services and policy change.
2. TAX - Tax breaks and reforms of various kinds.
3. FUNDING - Funding, grants and lending for exporters.
4. EDUCATION — Education, training and workforce issues.
5. CURRENCY — Government management of the exchange rate.
The most popular theme was SUPPORT with 45% of the sample calling for more government support for exporters, or a policy change that they thought would help in some way. Suggestions included:
- Better promotion of UK SME manufacturing on the international stage.
- More financial support for trade promotions and missions.
- More direct help with difficult markets and finding partners.
- A more consistent long term approach to developing markets.
- Work out standardised procedures for different products and export markets.
- Have a rigorous system for accrediting in-country agents.
- Seek out exporters more proactively and provide support and help.
It is interesting to note that most of these support activities are already being actively provided to exporters by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Our survey suggests that SME owners generally approve of the type of support... continued on page two >