Government's efforts to promote international trading backed
With the government cutting public spending as part of a wider effort to reduce Britain's budget deficit, the onus has fallen firmly on the private sector to plug this gap and stimulate growth.
The government recently flagged up trading internationally as one way in which small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can help to drive up the UK's gross domestic product (GDP).
Indeed, business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said giving companies the confidence to do business outside the UK is "vital" to boosting economic growth.
This could potentially encourage more SME owners to consider an approach many may believe is the sole preserve of larger organisations.
Business expert and international speaker Roger Harrop is among those to have enjoyed the benefits of trading internationally firsthand. As a result, he believes plenty of opportunities are available for UK-based companies around the globe right now.
"The topic all over the world is the so-called BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - and people should be trading in China," he commented.
Mr Harrop noted that the Chinese economy is expanding by between 15 and 20 per cent per year. This, he said, means trading there can be much easier than in the UK, where GDP growth of about 1.8 per cent is expected.
SMEs in particular could therefore find arranging an international money transfer and establishing a presence in fast-growing emerging markets highly lucrative in the long term, which could help them withstand the economic slump at home.
Mr Harrop said the government's passport and export scheme may be particularly helpful to entrepreneurs who are looking beyond the UK.
He stated that the programme will give businesses access to an advisor from UK Trade and Investment who can offer pointers on which markets should be targeted.
"It is really not difficult for people to start working and selling overseas and being very successful," Mr Harrop added.