The latest from Network Pathway

21st September 2016

Brexit view from Australia

After all the worry for SMEs, the facts paint a bright picture

After all the worry for SMEs, the facts paint a bright picture

Perhaps more so than many businesses, here at Network Pathway we thought we needed to take a good look at our strategy to align with the new post-Brexit normal. Over the past few weeks I’ve been in Sydney doing just that with our leadership team. It’s been really interesting seeing the difference between the perspectives from the UK, US and Australia. We found that, when you take away the political and sovereignty issues, for the SME community, it’s onward and upward.

We all understand that there’s a negotiation looming and that regulations will change, but that’s as much of an opportunity as a threat. It’s useful to remind ourselves that, in this era of globalisation, where geographical proximity plays an ever decreasing role in business, there’s a constant flow of change. Why should Brexit be treated differently? Granted, there’s the quantum of change to consider, but the bottom line is, carry on trading, growing and looking for opportunity.

The UK is building on its strong economic fundamentals with significant support from both the private sector and the government. The latest incarnation of UK “plc.” is the Department for International Trade which is represented in cabinet by International Trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox. Yesterday, he gave a speech in Dubai detailing how the UK is open for business which could be summed up by his statement that: “In many ways, we are not leaving Europe; we are re-joining the rest of the world.”

With the ease of doing business in the UK – low company tax, a highly skilled workforce, a world-class legal and regulatory frame work, it’s all looking positive. The European Union has a greater level of trade with the UK than any other country, which will drive a negotiation which will support continued investment in both directions. There are also a long list on non-EU countries lining up to form trade negotiations with the UK which they have previously been unable to complete with the EU due to the range of complexities caused by a 28 nation bloc.

There’s probably never been a better time to consider growing your business in to the UK. A number of leading indicators for growth are showing an increasingly vibrant SME economy since Brexit:

  • Overseas payments are up
  • Optimism is high
  • Finance applications are leaping up

SMEs with international growth plans can also rely on a private sector with world class business mentors and service providers who can help with both the speed to market and the reduction of risk. It’s a great time to be involved in foreign direct investment in to the UK, and Australia has plenty of world class businesses that can take advantage of this. After the initial shock of Brexit, this latest trip to Australia has left me reinvigorated to take part and help our two countries form deeper connections through mutual growth.

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