HAVING just returned from a family holiday in the USA I can relate to the challenges of trading across borders.

The exchange rates were very different to my last trip there around 10 years ago and this made even basic café food potentially expensive compared to the UK.

On the other side of the equation the university recently hosted 24 American visitors and they found the UK prices very agreeable!

So as consumers, Brexit and a poor showing by the Conservatives at the election do not favour the UK consumer, but should favour manufacturing and exporting.

Businesses stand or fall by their ability to absorb relatively small fluctuations; exchange rates, materials, energy.

The ability to ‘read’ the economy, hedge risks, flex to markets and manage through contracts are all as important as having the right product.

A recent House of Commons briefing paper showed the north west as the third largest producing region after London and the south east, with the highest growth per person over a five-year period.

However per person the north west actually runs a small trade deficit with the EU, our biggest international trading partner. The north east wins there with a surplus. So it’s probably time to go west?

LAWRENCE Bellamy, associate dean at the Padgate campus of the University of Chester writes for business.