An award-winning international trade expert is backing a new campaign supporting growth in manufacturing businesses, as new figures revealed more than half of all manufacturers plan to increase exports in the next three years.
Nicole Howarth, of award-winning shipping company, Global Freight, said the Manufacturing Matters campaign launched in November will put the spotlight on businesses which are flying the flag for British made products abroad.
The campaign, from the Manufacturing Advisory Service, is looking to raise the profile of the sector and ensure support is in place to encourage growth and create jobs.
Mrs Howarth said: “There is no question that the march of the makers is gaining pace. We work with a number of manufacturers, many of them are SMEs with a real desire to grow their operations. Many of them see that growth coming via international trade.
“Although we can step in with our experience and expertise to assist them on their import and export programmes, we know that there are still barriers to growth for many businesses surrounding issues such as access to finance and skills shortages and this new campaign will tackle and debate those important issues.”
The Manufacturing Matters initiative will discuss key challenges and opportunities for the sector, which accounts for more than 110,000 businesses and 1.1 million jobs.
Lorraine Holmes, Area Director of the Manufacturing Advisory Service, commented: “It’s fantastic news that other sectors are getting involved in this campaign and is really helping to establish a platform from which we can showcase all the exciting and innovative SMEs we have in England.
“International trade will be a major a focus of the final week and companies, such as Global Freight, can be essential partners to our firms, who need to ensure deliveries are on time and that they are still able to compete on price.”
Mrs Howarth, who set up Global Freight more than 17 years ago to support small and medium-size enterprises launching international trade programmes, works with manufacturers across the UK.
“More than 70 per cent of manufacturers are looking to export into new markets in the next three years, and more than 60 per cent want to develop their existing markets overseas.
“What we are seeing among our clients is that those who have two way international trade programmes are ensuring they remain competitive in the global marketplace.
“Globalised production means that the import component of exports has risen in the UK and importing some level of product could help lower costs for UK manufacturers.”
Global Freight also deals in cross-trade via the Far East and South Africa with goods delivered direct to customers in Japan, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden, amongst other destinations.