This Canadian news review picks easy targets but with overseas broadcasters generally, the UK’s image is not faring well.
Whether you follow the Boris Johnson philosophy of current issues just being a period of adjustment, or believe that Brexit was lunacy in a sense doesn’t matter. History has happened and we need to look to the future.
Sentiment plays a part in business, including international trade. Others follow success, or look at events to judge reliability, beneficial trade agreements come because you are perceived as thriving.
You could feel that talking up the UK is a politician’s job but all of us can play a role and have reasons to be positive.
A Viable Background
We do not wish to be jingoistic, great things happen across our world. The recent Nobel prizes are an example, given to people from Japan, Italy, Zanzibar amongst others, we really do live in a global society.
Nevertheless, English is a widely spoken language, retained as an official language by the EU. Legal, or financial systems in many places are based on ours, as are approaches to parliament and government.
We tend to score well on global corruption measures, public safety and crime are not major issues, education and health systems are sound. Our currency may be a little down at present but is not going to collapse.
Measuring financial performance has been clouded by Brexit and the Covid pandemic running together. If you take GDP as a signal, this is down, perhaps partly due to Brexit but less than after the 2008 financial crisis.
Financial services performance has long been perceived as emblematic of the UK. Industry data and surveys suggest the position in 2021 is strong, costs and regulatory demands are rising but profitability remains.
The sector’s future will depend on planning, managing change and government’s ability to get regulatory amendment right. A more international approach will be needed, as financial centres in Asia and beyond continue to grow.
As economies there move away from a manufacturing focus, competition increases in many service sectors but we can compete. The enforced change British companies have gone through might even have a positive side.
Coping with Brexit and the pandemic has seen practices become embedded which will bring longer term benefit for UK businesses.
We are not flavour of the month in long term economic forecasts but the IMF admit they are prepared with “high uncertainty”. As much as container jams and energy shortfalls, they will depend on how people feel about the UK.
Through ATA carnet support, we help many businesses travel outside of the UK, from sole traders, to media producers, to corporate bodies. They can all help us and themselves by being positive about the UK’s future.
A friendly, open country, with a stable base and much to offer. One where there is a history of trading through awkward times to come out stronger.