A new report has demonstrated that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK see international trade as a key part of their growth in the coming years.
Canvassing the opinions of 1,000 small firms, the EE SME International Ambitions survey showed that 40 per cent of small businesses are currently trading internationally, while an additional six per cent intend to do so by 2021.
Senior decision-makers are expecting international trading to drive 25 per cent of their business's growth over the next five years, with expansion plans in place for a number of territories.
Of those polled, 82 per cent said they are currently or planning to trade with clients in western Europe, while for the US this figure stood at 55 per cent. The Nordics were the third most popular growth market, followed by Asia, eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Manufacturing, media/marketing and IT/telecoms companies were shown to be most likely to engage in international trade.
Lydia Hicks, director of SME product marketing at BT, said: "UK small and medium enterprises show no signs of holding back on their international business ambitions."