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UK firms urged to look overseas for growth opportunities

UK firms urged overseas growth opportunities

Businesses in the UK that are looking to expand have been advised to consider taking advantage of international opportunities.

According to Larry Gould, chief executive of Bigword Group, many exporters in Britain are currently being hit by the continuing debt crisis in the eurozone.

However, he told the Financial Times that complaining about the state of affairs in Europe is not a solution to the problem.

Instead, Mr Gould suggested beleaguered exporters should try to tap into foreign markets which are in a much better state economically.

"Chinese, Brazilians and Indians have money to spend," he commented.

"British companies should wake up and be excited."

Mr Gould's firm, a provider of translation services, has already benefited directly from this approach.

Indeed, figures showed it managed to boost its international turnover to £43 million in 2011 – an increase of 45 per cent – even though its UK turnover dropped by five per cent in the same period.

As a result, more firms might be tempted to consider similar growth opportunities around the world and boost international money transfer activity.

Mr Gould's advice comes after a study by Western Union Business Solutions revealed confidence in worldwide trading conditions is picking up in the UK.

Whereas 56 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) said they were confident about the trading environment around the world in the final quarter of 2011, 65 per cent were positive during the three months to March 2012.

Neil Graham, managing director of Western Union, described this nine per cent upturn in confidence among importers and exporters as a "tentative step in the right direction".

The UK government has already flagged up trading internationally as one way in which SMEs can help to drive up the UK's gross domestic product. Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk recently said giving companies the confidence to do business outside the UK is "vital" to boosting economic growth.

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