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Yorkshire SMEs urged to think global

The very good shape of the global economy, a weak but stable Pound and extremely strong growth figures from a number of developing countries means now is a great time for Yorkshire businesses to be exporting. That was the message from leading banking economist Tom Vosa speaking at the York St John Business School Going Global event.

Presenting to 70 delegates from all sectors of the York and North Yorkshire economy, Tom - who is Head of Market Economics, Europe at the Yorkshire Bank’s parent company National Australia Bank Group - explained how businesses from Yorkshire and the Humber are already better at exporting than the UK average and why there is excellent potential in certain countries.

Tom said: “In recent years the UK has achieved good export growth in non-EU countries, the ‘Greater China’ region, the US and OPEC countries. That means we as a nation are not as exposed to the troubles of the Eurozone as we could have been – and Yorkshire and the Humber even less so. But even here it is not all gloomy when you consider the strong economic growth figures from Germany.”

Poland and Switzerland were highlighted as two European nations where UK businesses had done very well in exporting terms, but the greatest future opportunities are set to come from further afield, particularly China and India. 

Tom added: “Growth in the strong developing Asia region is unlikely to fall below 6% in the coming years and in Sub-Saharan Africa growth is set to stay above 5%. That’s significantly higher than any predictions for Europe, the US and Japan where British exporting has traditionally been strong.”

A greater insight into one of these emerging markets was provided by KPMG’s Director of High Growth Markets, Mazyar Kotwal. He focussed on India, highlighting to business owners and directors what they need to consider when planning to develop an export market in the country and minimise risk. Mazyar attributed the huge potential in India to the rapidly growing proportion of middle-class people with more disposable income and the Indian government’s massive infrastructure investment programme.

The lecture programme was completed with presentations from change management specialists Martin Carver, Director of Harrogate based Primeast and Ed Reid who runs The Alternative Board York. They explained how the decision to start exporting represents significant change for many businesses and this needs careful management and planning to ensure the venture doesn’t end in failure. The event concluded with a series of practical workshops covering international payments, taxation in India and change management.

Jackie Mathers, Dean of York St John Business School said: “Growing your business by looking overseas can be a real challenge but, with the right support and guidance, exporting offers genuine and valuable opportunities. With the insights and advice provided by our experts at this event, I hope we’ve been able to help delegates take another important step on the road to exporting and future growth.”

York St John Business School is planning future seminars and lectures designed to help local businesses develop their skills and knowledge for exporting. To register your interest, contact York St John Business School on T: 01904 876915 or E: business.school@yorksj.ac.uk

Picture shows: Experts gather for Going Global, York St John Business School’s special event dedicated to achieving growth through exporting. (L-R) Brian De Vere of Yorkshire Bank; Jackie Mathers, Dean of York St John Business School; Ed Reid of The Alternative Board (York); Tom Vosa, Head of Market Economics, Europe at the Yorkshire Bank’s parent company National Australia Bank Group; Andy Sills, Audit Director KPMG; KPMG’s Director of High Growth Markets, Mazyar Kotwal; and. Martin Carver, Director and Head of OD and Change at Primeast.

For further press information please contact Karen Nixon at The Partners Group on T: 01904 610077 or E: karen@partners-group.co.uk or Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk


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