An Englishman's home is his castle.
This proverb poses some challenges in these more enlightened times, not least its gender bias and exclusion of the other nations in the UK.
It's also a fairly inward looking statement. It assumes that a castle is a keep - a place to batten down the hatches and fend off attack from the outside world. And yet a castle is also a place to assemble and build, in preparation of leading the charge into new territories.
Last Thursday in a press release from the Department for International Trade, statistics from HMRC revealed that overseas demand for British goods in every UK nation is increasing.
In the 12 months to Q2 2019, goods exports in:
- England grew by 2.7% to £252.0bn
- Scotland grew by 14.5% to £34.0bn
- Wales grew by 6.8% to £17.7bn
- Northern Ireland grew by 6.8% to £9.1bn
Scotland saw particularly strong demand from China, increasing 213.8% to £3.4bn, overseas sales from Northern Ireland to the US increased 12.9% to £1.1bn, whilst export growth in England was robust in London and the East Midlands, as exports grew by 10.1% to £40.5bn and 9.3% to £23.5bn respectively.
In contrast, over the same period, Germany’s exports dropped 8%.
But should we be surprised by this? According to research from PwC, by 2050 the UK will be the world's 10th biggest economy.
It should be no surprise (to those that don't like surprises) that the BRIC nations dominate the list: India and China are 1st and 2nd respectively, whilst Brazil and Russia occupy the 5th and 6th spots.
Indonesia is placed 4th, with their footprint in oil and gas, cement, food, electrical appliances, construction, plywood, textiles and rubber.
USA, Japan, Germany and Mexico complete the top 10 and spoiler alert - Mexico's economy is inaccurately represented on Netflix: it aint all about El Chapo.
So what to take from this?
We're at a crossroads: digital transformation is driving process and performance development across businesses in every sector. The potential first-move advantage is enormous: grab the proverbial by the horns.
Talk to us at Cooper Golding about how we've helped companies like yours navigate the path to success by employing the right people, in the right places, at this crucial point on the curve.
And how about this for a digital-age proverb: A UK Manufacturer's Smart Factory is their Stronghold.