• Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

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Low pound ideal for manufacturers

KevinTHE recent leave vote could be a golden opportunity for North-East manufacturers, according to experts at a leading firm of business advisers.

Darlington-based accountants and business advisers Clive Owen LLP is urging local companies to take advantage of the low pound and favourable market conditions to explore new overseas sales prospects or bolster existing exports. Kevin Shotton, partner and manufacturing specialist, said there had never been a better time for foreign trade, with UK goods now comparatively cheaper to overseas customers.

He said: “Brexit has been the number one discussion point when meeting with our clients in recent months. Although some are concerned by the potential impact on the wider economy, others are keen to act on the opportunity. Many of our clients have been exploring potential new markets since the referendum was announced in February, setting sterling on a downward spiral, and are now well placed to exploit the opportunity.”

The positive message follows a recent survey of more than 330 businesses across the Tees Valley, which showed increased expectations of future growth, with more than 30 per cent saying they would be investing in exports in the next 12 months. As a result, the Live Work Play Tees Valley initiative has been launched to highlight the area’s attractions as a base.

Kevin said Clive Owen LLP’s experience echoed the survey’s findings. “Our specialist service teams in grants advisory and corporate finance work closely with clients to develop long term plans and so far, the feedback has been very much business as usual, with many firms seeing the combination of a weakening pound and low commodity prices as a catalyst to push through growth plans, including international expansion,” he said.

In a bid to address concerns and highlight the potential opportunities of Brexit, Clive Owen LLP recently teamed up with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which promotes exports on the Government’s behalf, to run an event focusing on its likely impact on global trade and exports.

The joint venture, which took place at The Forge, Teesside University’s business development facility, covered key questions like, ‘What impact does the result have on international trade?’, ‘Will there be issues surrounding trade documentation?’ and ‘Are we likely to see any transportation restrictions?’

Chris Simpson, Lead International Trade Adviser, UKTI North East, said: “We would encourage companies to keep trading through these uncertain times. Brexit provides an opportunity to showcase the region and make our goods and services even more appealing so that whatever the outcome of trade negotiations, Europe won’t want to lose our business.”

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