Global exporting from Coventry and Warwickshire is starting to return to pre-COVID-19 levels for some companies, it has been revealed.
Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – which assists hundreds of the region’s businesses with export documentation – has said after a temporary dip in requests for processing export documentation when the lockdown was announced, it has experienced a significant revival in the past week.
During the week that the lockdown was announced by the government, the Chamber handled around 50 export document requests from Coventry and Warwickshire firms, but since then, there has been a steady weekly rise, culminating in around 100 requests a week during week commencing 20 April, with the transactions collectively worth more than £2.5 million.
During the same week, Turkey was the most popular destination for products requiring documentation through the Chamber at 38 per cent, followed by the United Arab Emirates (21 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (9 per cent).
Ajay Desai, international trade director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Other countries are at different stages of overcoming COVID-19, with some overseas industries continuing to operate in some form or returning to normal, which is why some of our region’s businesses are starting to see similar levels of demand from overseas, and across a whole range of sectors.
“There was, understandably, an initial dip in exporting while businesses digested how the lockdown would impact them, and what financial help they could access from the government.
“Since then though, we have seen a consistent increase over the past month, to the point where we are now back at our pre-COVID-19 levels of fulfilling up to 500 export documentation requests a month.
“We are seeing requests from sectors such as manufacturing and engineering, right through to IT and software.
“These documentation requests give us a reflection of exporting activity, as they are required every time a UK business wants to move their products across borders. They don’t take into account activity with the EU because exports into the European Union don’t require the documentation service we provide to companies.
“It shows that there is potential in a range of markets for our region once we start to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.
“The seriousness of COVID-19 has seen stricter behaviour from some embassies who are wanting to receive ‘wet signatures’ on documentation on specific days, so the Chamber has been helping firms from our region by dedicating every Wednesday to finalising documents that will get their transactions over the line.
“While this is a challenging time for business as a whole, we are seeing companies in the region diversifying to join the national effort against Covid-19, whether it is producing ventilators or gowns – which when combined with the strong levels of exporting – is an encouraging sign for the regional economy.”