Wednesday, January 22, 2014

News: UKTI targets Yorkshire's "mittelstand"

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Mid-sized businesses in Yorkshire will be some of the first to be personally offered tailored trade advice and an intensive programme of support to help them start exporting or break into new markets.

Recently appointed Trade Minister, Lord Livingston, will personally write to all the UK's 8,900 mid-sized businesses by this summer to ask them if they would like trade support from national business support organisation, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

A pilot study will be conducted in Yorkshire and the South East followed by a full national roll out.

The government sees mid-sized businesses as vital to its economic plan to reduce the deficit and create more jobs. The CBI estimates that, if they reach their full potential, it would be worth £20 to £50 billion to the UK economy. Currently mid-sized businesses make up just 0.5% of all businesses but contribute around a fifth of employment and turnover in the UK.

Germans use the word "mittelstand" for the millions of middle-sized companies that form the backbone of their booming economy. Only 17% of UK mid-sized businesses generate revenues outside of the EU compared to 25% in Germany and 30% in Italy.

Lord Livingston said: "Mid-sized businesses have the potential to be economic powerhouses for the UK economy, creating jobs and growth for all regions of the UK.

"Their success is dependant on expanding beyond domestic markets so we will be making personal contact with all mid-sized businesses to find out what we can do to help them go up a gear and compete with the best the rest of the world has to offer.

"Businesses excel with UKTI's support and we want to make sure that they are not just trading abroad, but thriving there."

The UKTI believe that, with its help, mid-sized businesses can increase their sales by £1.8m. Support includes international trade advisers, assessments of export readiness, trade visits and communications reviews.

UKTI website

Images: UKTI

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