Kent firms set to benefit from Olympics 'bounce'
Exports are expected to grow strongly this year, with the 2012
Olympics likely to boost overseas trade, according to a survey of
firms in Kent and the south east.
Just days after four Kent firms won Queen's Enterprise awards
for international trade, the survey by logistics firm DHL Express
found that more than half - 59 per cent - of small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) expect export growth this year.
Nearly 60 per cent believe that the 2012 Olympics will create
greater global demand for British goods.
But almost seven out of 10 - 69 per cent - believe that
keeping the base rate at the historic low of 0.5 per cent is key to
economic growth. Experts now believe that an increase, widely
expected next month (May), will be postponed until August at the
Official data from the Office for National Statistics showed
that exports grew by 11.5 per cent in 2010.
Most firms expect this year's export growth to come from
France, the USA, Germany and India. While China is
a major exporter to the UK, the survey revealed that it is also a
growing importer of products from south east SMEs, with 17 per cent
identifying China as a key source of their export sales.
Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK and Ireland, said: "The
international express market is recovering after a turbulent period
caused by the financial crisis; businesses altered their trading
patterns over the past few years to cut costs which had a direct
effect on shipments. Despite the weak economic conditions, last
year saw the amount of international shipments handled by DHL
Express grow strongly."
Proposals to put a tourist attraction in a former colliery are a step closer after receiving money from a government pot supporting coastal towns.
A management group is calling on traders to put their money behind a project to improve the standard of the city centre.
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