According to results from the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest Franchise Survey, around one in three UK franchisors also have international operations, awarding master licences elsewhere or controlling the franchising of units. 22% of UK franchise units operate elsewhere in Europe (including the ROI), 4% in the USA, and 15% in other locations worldwide.
Of those that do have operations outside of the UK, 60% of those issue a master licence in one or more markets, while 23% keep the operations directly from the UK, 7% have an open office abroad and 8% have joint ventures in one or more markets.
Of franchise systems that do not operate outside the UK, 4% have a business plan to do so, and 30% are considering it.
The survey also showed that legislation has overtaken language barriers as the biggest concern for a franchisor considering moving operations abroad.
In 2018 UK’s exports to China amounted to $27.5 billion or 5.7% of its overall exports.
Whilst gems and precious metals topped the list at $6.1 billion, vehicles were not far behind at $5.2 billion, followed by mineral fuels including oil at $5.1 billion and machinery at $2.3 billion. A little further down the line were pharmaceuticals at $1.5 billion, electronic equipment at $1.1 billion and medical technical equipment at $1.1 billion. Copper came in at $481.1 million, woodpulp at $350.7 million and organic chemicals at $337.2 million.
The United Kingdom shipped US $484 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018, down by -5.3% since 2014 and up by 9.5% from 2017 to 2018. The UK’s exports to America amounted to $64.4 billion or 13.3% of its overall exports. The top exports to America were:
1. Machinery: $11.8 billion
2. Vehicles: $11 billion
3. Pharmaceuticals: $6.6 billion
4. Collector items, art, antiques: $4.1 billion
5. Medical, technical equipment: $4 billion
6. Organic chemicals: $3.9 billion
7. Mineral fuels including oil: $3.5 billion
8. Electronic equipment: $3.4 billion
9. Aircraft, spacecraft: $3 billion
10. Beverages: $2.2 billion
In 2018 the UK’s exports to Hong Kong amounted to
$10.3 billion or 2.1% of its overall exports and was as follows.
1. Gems, precious metals: $2.9 billion
2. Machinery: $2.6 billion
3. Collector items, art, antiques: $1 billion
4. Electronic equipment: $868.6 million
5. Medical, technical equipment: $430.5 million
6. Beverages: $306.1 million
7. Vehicles: $268.2 million
8. Clocks, watches: $177.2 million
9. Perfumes, cosmetics: $121.9 million
10. Meat: $119.2 million