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Almost two-thirds of London SMEs now trading abroad

An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in London are trading overseas, with almost two-thirds (60 per cent) now doing so, according to a survey by Avanta Serviced Office Group, in partnership with London First.

More than 200 small business owners were quizzed as part of the study and of those trading globally, the vast majority (94 per cent) are exporting goods and services.

The most popular trading countries for London-based SMEs are those within the Eurozone (48 per cent), followed by other EU countries (29 per cent).

However, many others are choosing to do business even further afield with almost a quarter (23 per cent) trading in the Middle East, while 22 per cent are also operating out of Australia and New Zealand.

Newer ‘superpowers’ such as India (16 per cent), Eastern Europe (16 per cent) and China (15 per cent) are also attracting the attention of London entrepreneurs looking to take their services overseas.

Alan Pepper, CEO of Avanta, said: “Trading overseas is a fantastic way of growing a business, opening up entirely new markets and opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs.

“British SMEs have traditionally been cautious about selling their products outside the UK however our survey shows that small businesses in London are now crossing borders in their droves.

“And what better base than London, arguably the most international city in the world, from which to trade.”

Baroness, Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, believes London’s small business sector is fast waking up to the financial rewards of overseas trading.

“Since London merchants set sail for the East Indies over three hundred years ago, our capital has been one of the world’s leading exporters,” said Valentine.

“I am delighted that many smaller businesses in London are helping to maintain this global position today, and are reaping the economic benefits of trading beyond our borders.”

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