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Calls for More Export Support as Businesses Report International Trading Challenges


Businesses in Wales who trade globally faced challenges in Q2 2024, according to Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey.

46% of businesses in Wales reported in the survey that their export sales had decreased over the last three months, with 38% stating that their sales had remained constant during this period. Over half (54%) shared that export orders and advanced bookings had also decreased in Q2.

This contrasted with the performance of Welsh businesses who traded domestically. 48% of the firms who took part in the survey trade goods and services in the UK only. Three quarters of these businesses saw sales increase or remain at a constant level over the last quarter and 29% saw domestic orders and bookings increase.

To overcome these challenges, businesses in Wales highlighted access to new markets and new international markets as opportunities to help their business recover.

Paul Butterworth, CEO of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“Wales has so much to offer to the world but, as our latest survey shows, more exporting support is needed. It is imperative that businesses who wish to trade internationally receive the correct support and guidance to connect, trade and thrive on the global stage, whether that is from specialist teams within our Chamber network or through Government programmes.”

The Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 also revealed optimism. Half of those surveyed predict that profitability will improve over the next 12 months, and 59% expect turnover to improve.

There were also small rises in the number of businesses in Wales who increased their investment plans for training, equipment, plant and machinery over Q2.

Paul added:

“It is heartening to see the positivity of the Welsh business community, particularly the gradual shift in confidence that has allowed some businesses to make plans to invest in their resources, people and skills.

“With inflation now at its lowest level in years, and interest rates hopefully soon to follow suit, we hope that the incoming Government will foster an environment of economic stability that puts Welsh business on a trajectory to a higher-growth future.”



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