“Encouraging Export as a Strategy for Growth”
MSBs possess some of the UK’s strongest brands, are well-positioned to exploit global export opportunities and capitalise on the strong reputation of the UK brand in international markets. However, MSBs are not exporting as intensively as they could be in comparison to SMEs and outward investment tends to be focused on Europe when there are many other opportunities in high-growth markets. There is, therefore, a real opportunity for MSBs to exploit export opportunities more as a means to business growth.
- MSBs tend to have a lower proportion of high-intensity exporters than smaller firms.
- Evidence suggests that outward investment by UK MSBs has failed to rise over the last ten years. In addition, what involvement there is in overseas firms tends to be focused on EU rather than higher growth markets, with approximately three times more MSBs having invested in subsidiaries in the EU rather than in non-EU countries.
- Foreign ownership of UK MSBs is substantial and increases the larger the MSB. In 2009, it was estimated that 41% of all MSBs had significant foreign ownership and this may explain the dynamism in this cohort of businesses.
“UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will provide a tailored package of export support to an estimated additional 500 mid-sized businesses per year. UKTI and UK Export Finance will work with businesses to promote existing trade and finance support for mid-sized businesses, to raise awareness of export opportunities.” (Autumn Statement, November 2011)
UKTI and UK Export Finance are targeting mid-sized businesses to promote the value of exporting and highlight opportunities; extending the network of International Trade Advisers dedicated to MSBs, with over 20 now in place across UKTI’s English regional network. UKTI is on track to engage 500 new MSB clients this financial year.
UKTI’s trade support for MSBs now includes: a ‘mini-MBA’ for MSBs in international trade service in conjunction with Leeds University Business School; intellectual property expertise to maximise the export value of those assets; tailored training and information to identify routes to new export markets; and a “knowledge bank” of private sector export specialists.
Lord Green and John Cridland from the CBI jointly led two trade missions dedicated to MSBs in 2012 to Turkey and Russia (25 companies on each trip).
Want to find out more?
- For expert advice, information on trade missions and other opportunities find out where your nearest UKTI International Trade Advisor is.
- For more information on global opportunities go to UKTI’s High Value Opportunities Programme.
- Register for free alerts from UKTI’s huge global contacts network.
- UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth service helps exporters diversify into new markets.
- UKTI’s Passport to Export service assesses a company’s readiness for international business, and helps it to build international trade capacity.
Accessing export credit
UK Export Finance is the UK’s official export credit agency providing services such as:
- insuring UK exporters against non-payment by their overseas buyers
- helping overseas buyers to purchase goods and/or services from UK exporters by guaranteeing bank loans to finance those purchases
- insuring UK investors in overseas markets against political risks
For more information on specific products and services available to MSBs go to the UK Export Finance website or contact customer services: +44 (0)20 7512 7887.
Proportion of high-intensity exporting
The chart shows the percentage of exporting firms exporting 75% or more of their annual turnover. It shows MSBs are not exporting as intensively as they could be in comparison to SMEs. For instance, MSBs tend to have a lower proportion of high-intensity exporters than smaller firms.
Source: Aston University analysis of ONS data, 2011