Practical ways to reduce the risks associated with exporting have been outlined to East Yorkshire businesses by an expert panel. Yorkshire Bank held a one day forum on the issue recently (Wed 14 May) as part of its Business Week programme.
The latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs suggest that total exports for Yorkshire and Humber reached a new record of more than £17.5bn in 2013, highlighting a buoyant local market. In recognition of this growing area Yorkshire Bank held a seminar in partnership with Andrew Jackson solicitors, which was attended by 30 new and existing export traders.
The primary focus was on detailing ways of mitigating the risks involved in trading overseas as well as the types of trade finance available to maximise existing opportunities.
Andrew Jackson provided practical advice on legal aspects of trading overseas including how letters of credit and bills of lading work together to ensure the exporter gets paid. Dominic Ward, senior partner and head of shipping & transport, at Andrew Jackson said:
“Judging by the improving economy now would seem to be a good time for Yorkshire’s export companies to be looking at exporting overseas to help grow their businesses.
“If the process is handled well export traders can reduce the risks that put many companies off, namely not getting paid by buyers in foreign and exotic locations.
“Relatively simple measures such as securing letters of credit from Banks can guarantee payment thereby giving peace of mind for overseas transactions.”
Speakers also included Richard Clarke, export finance advisor with UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency which helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-market exporters by sharing financial risks that the private sector is unable to shoulder alone.
Providing guarantees and insurance policies that complement those on offer in the private sector, as well as guidance on sources of Export Finance, UK Export Finance’s products and services include working capital schemes, bond support and letters of credit guarantees
Richard said: “As the UK’s export market increases in value - as reflected by Yorkshire and Humber’s buoyant market – businesses seeking to expand into new markets or to increase their market will benefit from knowing the options available to them.
“UK Export Finance can provide guarantees to banks to support short-term trade finance, secure insurance to cover payment risk – as well as providing export finance advice through an established and expanding network of regional advisers.
“While there will always be risks associated with trading overseas, those companies who do the most to ensure they make the best use of available facilities stand the best chance of managing a successful exports operation.”
Terry Ventress, manager, at Yorkshire Bank’s International Trade Finance division, said:
“At a time when the economy is showing sustained signs of longer term recovery there is currently a pressing need for sound business intelligence to help drive economic growth.
“We know from experience that more of our customers are looking to develop their export offering and our trade event allowed attendees to hear up to the minute analysis of a fast growing sector.
“Through Business Week we are bringing hundreds of local businesses together to learn from them and to provide solutions to help them achieve their long term ambitions.”
The May 14 seminar took place during Business Week which ran from 12th – 16th May and saw the banks’ network of 44 Business & Private Banking Centres across the UK host more than 250 customer focused events for local companies, including Yorkshire centres in Hull, York, Doncaster, Sheffield and Bradford.