David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive, Deloitte UK

“The onus must be on midsized companies to be bold and focused on exports, long-term investment and growth. As the global economy evolves, consumer demand in emerging economies represents the single greatest opportunity for UK companies. The London Olympics and the diamond jubilee have given Brand Britain a welcome boost.”

Christopher Humphrey, chief executive, Anite

“As a specialist technology company whose revenues are 90 per cent export, we need the government to facilitate good, uncomplicated commercial practice around the world. Simple rules and regulations that one can trust are as much a catalyst for growth as a stable currency and export insurance.”

Phil Bentley, managing director, British Gas

“Mid-sized businesses provide a significant proportion of our employment and generate a great deal of this country’s economic growth. We are rolling out smart meters to help businesses understand and manage their energy use, reducing their bills. We’re also investing in start-up technology companies that are creating new products.”

James Dracup, group managing director, Johnstons of Elgin

“Our traditional markets of the UK, eurozone and US have relatively little growth as financial uncertainty, austerity and economic malaise combine to squeeze disposable incomes. But we continue to invest in product innovation and intend to grow our percentage of exports from 25 per cent to more than 40 per cent by 2015.”

John Jenkins, chief executive, GE Capital UK

“Mid-sized businesses lack awareness of alternatives to traditional bank lending that could help them fund their expansion. One useful measure would be to follow the example of France and the US and make real-time credit information available to a wider group of potential lenders, enabling them to identify potential borrowers more easily.”

Michael Kennedy, chief executive, Drambuie

“The key word for exporters nowadays has to be ‘volatility’. There are certainly no lack of opportunities out there. We have focused on the best opportunities, including Vietnam, India and Brazil. What’s more challenging to manage are the traditionally important mature western markets such as Greece and Spain which change almost on a daily basis.”

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