Last week the Prime Minister launched a drive to help companies to export. He said that if the UK matched the European average for companies trading overseas, the extra activity could add £30bn to exports which is the equivalent of the trade deficit. This should also create about 100 000 jobs.
The Prime Minister also announced that £95m in grants from the Regional Growth Fund would be given to small companies which invest. RBS and HSBC will hand out the grants of up to £500,000 over the next two years, to companies which do not have the cash for deposits on new plant and machinery purchases.
The government export promotion agency UKTI, estimates that around 300,000 businesses export. This is a lower proportion of the total business population than the European average. Almost 50% of UK exports go to the European Union, a market that is forecast to grow more slowly than other fast developing regions of the world.