Saturday, 10 September 2016

It seems I must blame Golf for my lack of work overseas!

Oh what fun! I find it really amusing to hear Dr Liam Fox's views on what is wrong with British Industry! It strikes me that he completely fails to understand what drives industry. Perhaps the following would be a useful insight for him as to why I am not chasing business deals in the Far East:

There may be opportunities in some parts of the Far East, but there are some obvious impediments to progress by smaller businesses:

  • Lack of contacts
  • Cost of travel
  •  The need for visas
  • Lack of language skills
  • Lack of a clear understanding of what might be marketable
  • Why should developing nations use overseas specialists when they have their own specialists in up-and-coming universities.

I am part of the UK service industry, which a massive part of UK exports but is dismissed as irrelevant by the Brexiteers - all they seem to see as UK industry is widget-makers. Unfortunately, I also work in a business area where most of Government spending is wrapped up in call-off contracts with the biggest consultancies. As such there is precious little chance of making a solid income, let alone one where there is sufficient money to invest in speculative travel to suitable venues. I get innumerable invitations to conferences in China, Thailand and goodness knows where else, but I simply cannot afford the costs - one needs a strong income to support speculative travel. Therefore, I am sorry to say that I won't be contributing more to the UK export drive.

My main overseas market is/was northern Europe - which is fast slipping away from me as Brexit makes it less likely that my services will be wanted - who in Europe will want a consultant from a country that has stuck two fingers up at them and the legislation that I specialise in?

So, wake up Brexiteers - you have destroyed one market for the UK service industry and have placed your faith in doing business in parts of the world where their labour costs are lower. Whilst they may speak English we don't have a clue what they are saying - we are very definitely on the back foot. So, maybe a few parts of business do put more emphasis on their golf handicap but I suspect those businesses that can secure overseas markets have already done so. The service industry best placed to secure these markets is already there - American-owned giants with British outposts. I saw no evidence presented by Brexiteers of any market research that really showed that there was this gaping market for British goods.

Me thinks this is the start of the chickens coming home to roost.

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