By Marcus Leach

Britain must be more focused on export to ensure the economic recovery is a sustainable one was the message from Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Speaking at the BCC's International Trade Conference in London today (Thursday) Mr Cable said that we, as a nation, must have a greater focus on international trade.

"If the recovery we are starting to see is to be a sustainable one then we must focus more on exporting," Cable said.

"We are starting to see evidence that British exporters are making inroads into international markets, especially in the BRIC countries. These countries are starting to see a considerable impact from British exporters. But we all know that this doesn't happen overnight, it is a long term game."

There is often a comparison to what the Germans are doing, but Cable was quick to remind us that Germany have built their export industry over many years, the same years when the UK was not focusing on exporting.

"Many people always say 'look at the Germans', yet they have been doing what they do year after year after year. We are starting belatedly so can't expect instant success," Cable added.

"The big challenge we have is that, in comparison to Germany, we have about half the number of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in exporting.

"Where we have fallen behind our competitors is that we don't build strong enough business networks around the world. We need to be better at creating and maintaining these business-to-business networks."

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