The report, presented today at a virtual launch event, tracks the sentiment and attitude of UK businesses in relation to international trade.

This year’s report is released at a very interesting moment in terms of international trade, as businesses response to covid-19 and Brexit is top of the agenda once again.

The research reveals that while companies’ performance has been significantly weakened by the coronavirus crisis, 59% of businesses with an international focus remain optimistic about their prospects for growth over the next 3 years. Further, 26% say international trade will be more important moving forwards as a result of COVID-19, whereas only 5% say it will be less important, showing that in a depressed domestic environment targeted international trade opportunities can help deliver economic revival.

The report is also clear on the support businesses need in order to grow and succeed across global markets: trusted connections to buyers, partners and suppliers, help with overcoming bureaucracy and logistics issues, innovative banking solutions, local support and expertise with setting up overseas, and recruitment of the right skills to support with these challenges. Santander is uniquely positioned to help through our sector and country experts; partnerships with trade, industry and international bodies; and network of banking groups via the global Trade Club Alliance.

More than 150 clients, prospects, industry and trade partners attended the virtual launch event. There was were a question-and-answer session with the audience as well as breakout sessions on specific trends in the manufacturing, food and drink, and retail and wholesale sectors.

You can access the full report here.