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Survey shows strong overseas demand for UK security

A new survey has shown that it's not only homegrown businesses who take advantage of the UK security industry's world-leading knowledge and expertise.

According to research undertaken on behalf of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and published last month (January 23rd) to coincide with the Intersec exhibition in Dubai, demand for UK security services in the Middle East hit a record high in 2014.

The survey, undertaken among BSIA members who were active on the body's Export Council, found that 100 per cent of respondents were exporting to the pivotal global region - an uptick of 11 per cent compared with last year's research.

survey shows strong overseas demand for UK security

A majority also reported that revenues from the Middle East were stronger than ever, with 62.5 per cent observing a "notable increase" in turnover in the region over the 12-month period. A quarter (25 per cent) said that business levels were unchanged on 2013.

The BSIA Export Council members were no less upbeat when questioned about their forecasts for February to December 2015: 100 per cent of respondents anticipated an increase in orders over the remainder of the year.

What makes UK security services so attractive?

In order to find out more about the factors influencing the growing demand for UK security services overseas, the researchers went on to ask BSIA members what they thought mattered most to their Middle East customers.

Almost half (44.4 per cent) of respondents said it was their high level of compliance with industry standards, which represents an uptick of over 11 per cent year on year. A further 22.2 per cent felt that technological innovation made their firms more attractive than the competition, demonstrating the value of cutting-edge security services in a changing global environment.

The survey also found that organisations in the Middle East typically turn to the UK security industry for the defence of economically vital assets. A third (33.3 per cent) of BSIA Export Council members were involved in critical national infrastructure projects in the region, while government, transport and retail were also stand-out market segments.

Commenting on the research, council chairman Ian Moore said that the survey results underline "the phenomenal demand out there in the Middle East for the best that British security products and solutions can offer".

Mr Moore also noted that the emphasis on industry standards in the procurement process was encouraging. "This makes a welcome change from the perennial focus on initial purchase price and move towards the cost of ownership during the life cycle of the solution," he commented.

In general, news that the export of UK security services is thriving should be well-received by the BSIA, which pledged in November to promote this growth opportunity as the centrepiece of its 2015 manifesto.

On that occasion, it called on the government to grant additional financial support for the sector in the hopes of achieving an export market worth £1 trillion by 2020 - almost double a projected £571 billion for 2016.

"The Middle East has probably been the most attractive overseas security market over the last few years," added Mr Moore. "It is a natural target area for quality British companies."


Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of ThinkStock

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