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Look outside the EU to secure future export success, say Northern entrepreneurs

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More than 80 per cent of Northern entrepreneurs see the future success of Britain’s exports lying outside the EU, according to the results of an EY survey.

The research also found that almost half (47 per cent) of Northern entrepreneurs believe that a prosperous export market will rely on more support from the  Government.

EY surveyed over 50 Northern entrepreneurs to gather their views on the factors they think can help or hinder export growth. Nearly all of the entrepreneurs surveyed have well-established businesses; 81 per cent of respondents have run their companies for at least a decade.

Stuart Watson, EY’s Yorkshire & Humberside senior partner and Entrepreneur of The Year UK Leader, said: “Europe will continue to be the UK’s biggest trading partner, yet the North’s entrepreneurs see a clear opportunity to grow their businesses outside the EU in the coming years.

“Companies intending to scale up through exports should look for opportunities beyond the EU in high growth emerging economies. The UK needs to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business and grow, not just here but also internationally.”

Meanwhile, 61 per cent of entrepreneurs across the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire and Humberside agreed that the country will require more investment in infrastructure to help exports flourish.

Mr Watson said: “Announcements relating to infrastructure are likely to grab some of the headlines from the Chancellor’s upcoming Autumn Statement.

“The vision for a combined Northern economy is gathering significant momentum and has the potential to create more competitive, smarter and integrated Northern cities which together can contribute to rebalancing the UK economy.

“Aside from the wider business benefits, more integrated domestic transport infrastructure across the Northern regions and to other parts of the UK could help entrepreneurs connect to their wider supply chains and onward international transport links more quickly, supporting export growth. Further investment in our sea and air links could also help to boost exports.”

He added: “Backing dynamic businesses to scale up, particularly through exports, is key to the future prosperity of the UK.

“We need to make sure we nurture them in every way possible.”  

Stuart Watson
Stuart Watson

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