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Not getting paid is main fear of small firms looking to export.

NORTH WEST firms say the fear of not getting paid is a key barrier to exporting, new research reveals.

The survey by NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), said that 33% of companies in the region were concerned about the issue.

With Europe as the UK's primary export destination, current economic uncertainty may leave hopes of an export-led recovery in jeopardy.

However, despite fears of small firms not receiving payments, a quarter of non-exporters in the North West are confident their products and services would sell abroad. The eurozone crisis hasn't stopped businesses looking at Asia and emerging markets as attractive options, with 46% in the North West claiming they see opportunities in these regions.

The key concern with trading in these markets is the lack of specialist knowledge.

Getting paid promptly is critical in the current economic environment and maximising working capital is vital for all businesses, yet 52% of all UK businesses surveyed said they were ill-informed of funds available to support export.

NatWest and RBS are providing a free half-day consultation to advise exporters on various forms of payments available to them to successfully trade overseas.

Aidene Walsh, head of UK global transaction services at RBS, said: "Despite economic uncertainty, businesses are still hungry to trade overseas and 65% of them feel it is vital to economic recovery.

"The lack of tools and knowledge are clearly a hindrance and we are here to help them to take a leap into the exporting market.

"UK businesses should take a look at the wide range of tailored financial products available to help them fund and protect their international activity. We can advise on all these tools."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2011
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