Growth in exports stifled by lack of finance says CBI

Too many medium-sized businesses are locked out from obtaining the essential sources of finance and support they need to export and invest abroad, according to a report by the Confederation of British Indsutry (CBI) and law firm BDO.

The report “Go your own way”, urges the government and the private sector to get behind the international ambitions of medium-sized businesses which are being held back by lack of access to finance.

CBI research has shown that medium-sized businesses could be worth an additional £20bn to the economy if their growth potential can be unlocked.

In the report, the CBI and BDO warn that both private and UK Export Finance (UKEF), are failing to plug the gap, with only 52 small and medium-sized firms receiving direct assistance from UKEF in the last year.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “There is a disturbing gap in export finance that is shackling the international ambitions of medium-sized businesses and could damage the UK economy’s long-term prospects.

“Government support has improved, but the reality is that they have not even scratched the surface when it comes to supporting the efforts of British medium-sized businesses.”

“Both the government and private sector must take an urgent look at how they can better deliver export finance to the growing companies that need it most, especially for new or smaller exporters.”

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