By Maximilian Clarke

The number of businesses expecting the majority of their turnover to come from overseas trade is forecast to double by 2021, HSBC research suggests, with businesses reshaping their recruitment plans in order to obtain the right skills.

To ensure companies have the skills on board that are needed to enable international trade growth, almost one in five UK businesses are planning to recruit new staff and an additional 19% are looking to provide additional training for existing employees. Businesses within the electronics and computers (77%), travel and transport (60%) and agriculture (50%) sectors are the most likely to equip themselves for international trade growth in these ways.

“With our research showing that almost nine out of 10 UK businesses see additional expansion opportunities in international trade, it is important that they have the right skills on board,” said Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, Head of Commercial Banking UK at HSBC. “These businesses have told us that over the next year they see having financial management expertise and cultural understanding as crucial to develop their international trade. At HSBC, we are keen to support businesses with both skills and we encourage them to speak to us to see how we can help.”

International trade is seen as a key opportunity for UK businesses as they look to take advantage of a broader customer base; an opportunity to spread business risk; and allowing businesses to take advantage of buoyant international markets.


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