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International Trade Survey – language ability is an obstacle

The recent 2015 International Trade Survey says that 13% of respondents see a lack of language ability in their organisation is an obstacle to trading in or opening new markets.

Other questions posed were about the frustrations exporters faced, and among the answers were ’failing to understand cultural nuances can have disastrous consequences’ and ‘understanding which compliance and local regulations must be followed', both of which are addressed by regulations created at European level. Gratifyingly, a "resounding 57% said yes" when asked about membership of the EU and whether they thought it was a "critical" to their business. There was an alarmingly high number of respondents (17%) who claimed they "didn't know" what the impact of withdrawal from the EU would have on their business.

It is an immutable fact that the Single Market cannot function without an over-arching regulatory framework. As every commercial activity has a human element, and humans live in society with its interconnected network of norms, practices and regulations, the over-arching regulatory framework must be accompanied by a social/political framework which sits alongside it. This, in turn, ensures that commercial practices do not infringe the rights of people, serve their best interests and do not harm the environment in which they live.

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