Brand Britain
The UK has a 'worldwide spotlight' on it, according to Steve Childs Reuters

There is a "worldwide spotlight" on the UK and there are "tremendous" opportunities for British businesses in international markets, says Barclays' trade chief.

Speaking at Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Going Global, an event designed to encourage budding business creators to think internationally at the British Library Conference Centre, Steve Childs, head of international and trade for business banking at Barclays, said UK businesses should look at expanding overseas.

"In spite of the debates and decisions about Europe and Scotland, going global has never been more important," Childs said.

"Britain has taken centre stage over the last few years with the London Summer Olympics 2012, the Royal Wedding and the birth of Prince George.

"All of this creates a worldwide spotlight on the UK and the tremendous opportunities for British business in international markets."

The comments come after research in 2013 for Barclays by pollster Vanson Bourne found that almost half (47%) of exporting British small medium enterprises (SMEs) said they wish they had started taking a global outlook sooner.

This was most evident in utilities, logistics and pharmaceutical businesses, where 75%, 61% and 83% of businesses respectively said they wish they had started exporting earlier.

The research also revealed that, on average, businesses are four years old when they realise they can no longer drive their desired growth from the UK market alone.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the UK's trade deficit narrow in March, falling to £1.3bn ($2.1bn, €1.6bn) from £1.7bn.

The research body explained that the deficit is at its narrowest since December 2013, and second-narrowest since January 2013.