Academic journal article Manager

EU Enlargement Seen as Massive Opportunity for SMEs in UK

Academic journal article Manager

EU Enlargement Seen as Massive Opportunity for SMEs in UK

Article excerpt

Small businesses in the United Kingdom have been urged to prepare for EU enlargement and to take advantage of the biggest single market in the world by making the most of Government support networks like Business Link and Trade Partners UK.

Addressing a recent conference hosted bysmallbusiness/europe in Brussels, the UK's Small Business Minister, Nigel Griffiths, said enlargement presented entrepreneurs with a massive opportunity to break into new markets.

The entry of ten new Member States* will create the largest single market in the world, bigger than the US and Japan combined, with 450 million consumers.

An Opening Door

Said Mr Griffiths, "An enlarged Europe means that firms will have important new markets on their doorstep. The remaining obstacles to doing business with the new members will be removed, so it's an opening door for small firms. Since 1990, for example, UK trade with the ten new Member States has increased by over 400%, compared with a 43% increase in trade with the rest of the world. With the help of Business Link and the DTI's Trade Partners UK, many small businesses have already made inroads into these new markets. I urge more small firms to follow their example. "

Firms that have already been helped into the new market include:

* Burton Engineering Co Ltd of Bridlington, East Yorkshire, which is exporting label finishing machines to Estonia and Lithuania following a trade mission to the two countries and help from their Business Link, which assisted the firm in commissioning a market report on both countries. …

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