Predicting a positive future for UK manufacturing with opportunities in emerging markets

We may officially be in a recession but when I attended the MACH 2012 exhibition at the NEC Birmingham earlier this year the UK’s manufacturing sector appeared to be fighting back. It was a delight to see so many of our customers there, showcasing new products and forging new business links. And with exhibitors commenting that ‘the show was an unprecedented success’, they ‘struggled to cope with the level of interest’ and the exhibition ‘far exceeded expectations’ confidence levels seemed to be riding high.

This is despite City economics claiming earlier this year that news of Britain’s return to recession could drag down business confidence. Likewise, official figures revealed that the industry’s failure to return to growth had contributed to the UK’s slide back into recession.

Yet in April, the same month as the MACH 2012 exhibition, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) reported that a balance of 8% of manufacturers had witnessed a rise in orders in the three months to April 2012, up from minus 15 in January. Additionally, levels of optimism were at their highest for two years.

But the UK provides a relatively small market for manufacturers and exporting is becoming increasingly more important. Now is the ideal time for manufacturers to look at emerging markets such as Turkey, Egypt, Vietnam and Cambodia. But to do so they need the necessary language skills.

Research has shown that 11% of businesses have lost contracts as a result of language barriers. So with the future of the economy relying heavily on exporting we must break these barriers down. Only by encouraging UK manufacturers to invest in language capability can we help them have the confidence and ability to take advantage of every opportunity for business growth – both at home and overseas.

Read more about how to use languages effectively in accessing new markets in our A Guide to Using Languages in International Business. This short guide is designed to help you make the most of the opportunities available in new overseas markets by increasing your company’s ability to communicate in other languages, and win new business. If you would like to take this advice further, please contact us to book a free, one hour review of your language communication requirements.

Comtec is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of translation and interpreting services to business. Our services cover technical translation, marketing translation, website localisation, interpreting, multi-lingual Desktop publishing and software localisation. With over 30 years’ experience in handling projects in multiple languages and formats, we understand the demands of international business.

Sophie Howe, Director is available on 01926 335681 or

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