FSB welcomes government support for UK firms trading outside EU

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The British Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed a fresh government commitment to offer increased support for UK firms trading outside of the EU.

Britain’s international trade secretary Liam Fox was in Hong Kong to encourage more UK companies to do business with China through the former British colony after Brexit.

Speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce Mr Fox said that Hong Kong can provide a “degree of familiarity in a less familiar market, a slice of British language and business culture, not to mention a large expat community, right next to the world’s second-largest economy”.

He added that many British firms are still wary of the “complexities of doing business in China”.

Welcoming Fox’s comments, Phil McCabe, development manager at FSB Merseyside (pictured), West Cheshire and Wigan says: “While there are clearly challenges in leaving the EU, there are also opportunities.

“A renewed focus on emerging export markets outside Europe, including places such as Hong Kong and growing economies in other areas of the world, is one of them.

“The wealth of overseas companies attending last summer’s International Festival for Business in Liverpool shows that there is an appetite for UK-produced goods, services and expertise out there.

“FSB research shows that one in five UK small businesses are considering trading in international markets – the same number that already export – but there is potential to double this number.

“Many entrepreneurs do not know where to go for help. Small businesses need more support to find new overseas customers, navigate the pitfalls of differing exchange rates and jump the logistical hurdles that can exist in accessing new markets.”