British business and export trends: 2015 highlights and 2016 projections

What’s in store for international trade and British business in 2016? Here’s our review of the past year with an overview of what 2016 is likely to bring.


The UK is set for strong performance in 2016

In the July Budget and November Spending Review and Autumn Statement on the state of the economy, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne emphasised that the British economy is growing at a faster rate than those of other G7 countries and is set for further growth.

The IMF supports this assessment. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde furthermore stated “we are seeing a very strong performance from the British economy” and that “deeper areas of economic vulnerability” have been addressed.

Still, the IMF sees risks in the UK’s high household debt, government debt, productivity and a “strikingly large” trade deficit. Lagarde also voiced concerns about the UK potentially leaving the EU, though many British businesses do not think a ‘Brexit’ will affect their international trade prospects significantly.

UK businesses need to take international trade seriously – and there’s plenty of support

As the trade deficit shows, the UK is not doing as well as it could in terms of exports, and the £1 trillion by 2020 export target which Prime Minister David Cameron set in 2012, may not be achieved. The need for British businesses to up their export ante was also one of the main focuses of the International Trade Conference on 3 November.

Fortunately, there are many resources available for businesses with the initiative to seize new international opportunities. For example, in November UKTI launched the campaign Exporting is GREAT, a five-year project to help British businesses reach more markets which DHL is proud to support.

Exporters can’t afford to ignore cross border e-commerce as an avenue for growth

We’ve had a big focus on e-commerce this year, including events such as our panel with Fortnum & Mason and ASOS and case studies like Cambridge Mask Company which used e-commerce to enter China. Our video E-commerce: Your Path to Global Growth gives an overview of the opportunities of international online trade and the specific advantages British businesses have.

International e-commerce is set for further growth in 2016 and beyond, and businesses that don’t make the most of this route to market soon risk falling behind. Our dedicated e-commerce page has a range of resources and we will continue to share our insights on the latest trends and opportunities with tips and strategies from successful international online traders throughout 2016.

Are you planning to take your international trade to the next level in 2016? DHL Express UK is here to support you:


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