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According to research carried out in 2007 by Cardiff university, £21 billion is lost each year by UK SMEs due to a lack of language skills. The research report, Costing Babel studied the contribution that language skills made to a company’s production and exportation figures. Although large companies are increasing their numbers of multilingual employees, Small and Medium Enterprises are missing out on contracts worth up to £21 billion.

The Forum of Private Business in a collaboration with Peak Translations is to offer a language service for SMEs. To encourage successful exportation and productivity, the FPB will provide translators in some of the main languages, who also have experience in a number of sectors to assist with the translation of contracts, tenders, corporate literature and websites. Recent reports have found that successful exportation relies on a knowledge of differences in culture and language skills.

According to the report, export sales in a company which employs people who are fluent in the native language, has qualified translators, hires multilingual staff and has a language strategy are 44.5 percent greater than a company that hasn’t invested in being multilingual. Phil Orford, the chief executive of FPB said:

“The Forum of Private Business provides practical solutions to real business problems, both lobbying for changes to the enterprise environment to help our members grow and become more profitable and providing them with the right tools so they can help themselves. That is why we are delighted to launch this language service.”

Although English is necessary to gain entry to exportation, other languages are in high demand for international trade dialogue.

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