Exporting to the fastest growing economies is key to a financial recovery for businesses in Leicestershire, according to a leading economist.
Nick Parsons, head of research for the UK and Europe at Yorkshire Bank, said firms in the region should be exploring all opportunities to deal with China, India and Brazil.
He told business leaders at a seminar held at Yorkshire Bank’s Leicester Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) on New Walk that while home markets are important, above average business growth lies in the ability of firms to export.
“The great hope is that export growth repeats the sort of pattern it did in the early 1990s”, he said.
“Back then we had a recession which lasted for five quarters and when we came out of it in 1992 we had a big fall in the exchange rate, a big fall in interest rates and the world economy was doing quite well, which is kind of where we are now.
“Between 1994 and 1996 exports grew by at least nine per cent every year and by 30 per cent in total, and as exports rose the economy recovered and the pound strengthened which also helped to dampen inflation.
“With the similar conditions we have today the big hope is that we will get the same sort of performance.”
Parsons said support is available to Leicestershire firms to develop ties with businesses based in the strongest performing countries.
“The Office of National Statistics’ latest figures reported that up to 67 per cent of the UK’s exports currently go to Europe, and the total exports to the fastest growing economies in the world – China (2.4%), India (1.3%) and Brazil (less than 1%) – are less than what we export to Ireland (7%).
“The message is self evident that we must latch on to thriving markets and build close ties with these countries. This means not just taking goods and services, but making this a two way process."