Confidence among firms which export goods is at a record high, with most expecting their turnover will improve in the coming months.
A survey of more than 2,400 exporting companies found that a third also predicted jobs will be created, with manufacturers the most optimistic.
But despite the healthy outlook, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and DHL Express said their research also showed that more needed to be done to help reach the Government’s target of increasing exports to £1 trillion by 2020.
Almost half of exporters said sales increased in the last quarter of 2013, although the total volume of exports for goods fell by 3% compared with the previous three months.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said confidence of exporters is at a new high, adding: “This counts for a lot, as it shows ambition and willingness for businesses to export even more in 2014. But we can’t ignore the fact that the volume of exports were down at the end of last year. We cannot afford to sit back and expect exports to increase without dedicated hard work and support – not if we are to reach the Government’s target.
“Everyone has to take responsibility and play their part - Government, civil servants and business alike, so that firms can make some real in-roads in high-growth markets overseas in countries such as Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia.
“We are seeing small signs of export reorientation away from Europe and North America towards some of these stronger growth regions, but there is still a lot more to do. As a nation, we currently only spend 0.02% of GDP on trade support, which is nowhere near enough if we are going to rebalance our economy towards net exports.”
DHL chief executive Phil Couchman said: “Confidence is at a record high amongst exporters, which shows a marked step change in attitudes compared with previous reports. Positively, there continues to be a high level of demand overseas for ‘Brand Britain’ and newly-cited emerging markets, such as the MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) countries, present great opportunities for British businesses. With the right advice, product and plan, they have the potential to succeed in these emerging markets.”