By Daniel Hunter

Exporters need banks to act fast when a deal is on the table for fear of losing international trade deals which are critical to the future of their businesses.

This was among the key calls to action at the launch of a new quarterly review spearheaded by the Institute of Export (IOE) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to take the pulse of exporters at grass roots level.

PIT STOP debates are part of the IOE’s drive to promote Professionalism in International Trade (PIT), a hat trick of events held in Birmingham, London and Manchester which saw businesses and advisors debate the impact of the Chancellor’s autumn statement.

Discussions highlighted how the importance of banks employing more international trade experts at grass roots level - coupled with the need for their relationship managers to be able to signpost businesses to the right departments within the bank - has never been greater.

They also revealed that exporters are seeking a greater understanding of the financial implications of international trade within the advisor groups as well as business.

Key to the debates was a need for the Government to consider incentives such as tax breaks or holidays to help offset the major investment required to penetrate new markets. They are asking the business community to invest a huge amount in terms of human resource and capital to establish a new market and this is not reflected in the tax regime.

There was a mixed reaction overall on whether the current levels of Government support were adequate with lack of funding dominating the agenda overall. Feedback will be communicated to Government at all levels along with industry specialists and business media channels.

Said Institute of Export director general Lesley Batchelor: “Feedback from our first series of events highlighted that PIT STOP debates are an effective voice for exporters to share common issues and provide calls to action which will further strengthen the IOE’s ongoing lobbying drive for positive change.

“The debates have reinforced the urgency of addressing the lack of training and skills in-house as well as highlighting the need to equip relationship managers in banks and businesses with the training and expertise to support exporters and companies working in international trade. Time is money and waiting for a response from the bank can make or break an international deal.”

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