2:00pm Friday 3rd February 2012
By Andrew Smith
MORE and more Oxfordshire firms are looking to ride out the economic crisis by boosting their exports.
A new report shows more companies in the county want to trade abroad than the average figure for the South East and across the UK.
Out of 70 firms surveyed, 29 per cent said they planned to expand into overseas markets in the next two years, compared to a national average of 21 per cent.
And of those already operating overseas, 67 per cent intend to expand further, according to the findings by office provider Regus.
Paul Briggs, chief executive of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said: “In the current economic climate, firms of all sizes who have diversified overseas are faring better than those who have stayed within their home markets.
“Exporting is an area where future growth will come from and there are still many firms that should be taking advantage of international trade, especially in emerging markets.”
Banbury engineering firm Norbar Torque Tools recently expanded its international operation by opening a new office in India. The company, which specialises in products such as torque wrenches and calibration equipment, will use the new office in Mumbai to add to its bases in Australia, China, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.
The company, which employs 240 staff, exports 75 per cent of production and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade in 2009.
Sales and marketing director Philip Brodey said: “India is a country with remarkable potential and the economy continues to show consistent long-term growth.”
Norbar was helped by UK Trade & Investment, the Government department that helps UK-based companies with the export market.
Fiona Jefferson, international trade adviser at UKTI South East, said: “It is hugely rewarding to see companies like Norbar growing their business through international trade and tapping into the huge potential of high-growth markets such as India.”
And it is not just manufacturers who are benefiting.
Isis Enterprise, the consulting division of Oxford University’s technology transfer company Isis Innovation, has helped global firms tap into expertise from academics and early stage companies.
It has worked for clients in more than 50 countries and established a presence in China, Japan and Malaysia to serve the Asian market.
Tom Hockaday of Isis Innovation said: “It’s only sensible to take a global perspective of our activities.”
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