Have British Attitudes to Global Trade Changed?
1 year ago by Jack Evangelides

Have British Attitudes to Global Trade Changed?

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Back in February 2017, Cedar Rose commissioned a survey of over 2,000 members of the British public, asking them about their attitudes to international trade. Despite all the ambiguity around the post-Brexit future, it was interesting to find that nearly 8 in 10 of the British public felt that the UK needed to develop its trading links with countries outside of the EU. Our mission since the early days of our company has been to make the MENA region a safer and more secure place for people to do business – wherever they`re from. Six months later we followed up our February UK Trading Survey with a brand new one, and the results were striking. We were able to ask some of the same questions and the see how the public mood had changed in the eventful six months between Winter and Autumn. We also introduced two new questions, specifically about the Brexit itself. We found that just 49% of people surveyed felt that the Brexit would benefit the UK economy in the long-term, with that percentage falling to just 31% of 18-25s. The six months that elapsed between the surveys featured no shortage of events that could have profoundly affected public opinion; a snap general election, several terror incidents and the beginning of the UK`s Brexit negotiations. But while there were some obvious shifts in opinion – enthusiasm for global free trade rose by around 7% for example, the picture was predominantly a stable one. The view that the MENA region was a dangerous place to do business was expressed by almost exactly 50% of the surveyed population in both surveys, and support for the government doing more to promote British products overseas was stable at just over 75%. The overall impression that we have taken from both sets of results is that while many people in the UK have their misgivings about the Brexit, there is an emerging consensus in favour of broadening the country`s trade horizons. British businesses have traditionally been well represented in the markets of the Middle East and that continues to this day, but there remains enormous scope for growth. Urbanisation and technological advances are driving dramatic rises in population across the MENA region, and these new consumers are generating demand for the kinds of products and services that British operators are well-placed to provide. Regardless of whether the UK ultimately opts to embrace international trade more wholeheartedly after Brexit, the world`s emerging markets will continue to play an increasingly important role in international business. We`ll still be here providing award-winning Business Intelligence services to companies and individuals from all over the world, and working hard to make even the world`s most challenging markets safer and more secure places to do business. Explore more exciting articles on international trade here. Written by Christina Massaad, Managing Director
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*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

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