East Anglia: Non-EU markets continue to lead the way for region’s exporters

Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment.

Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment. - Credit: Archant

Exports from the East of England to markets outside the European Union continued to grow during the third quarter of 2013, according to figures from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), but were still off-set by a decline within the EU.

The region’s exports to non-EU nations for the nine months to the end of September were 2.5% up compared with the same period last year at £11.85billion, but exports to the EU were down 9.9% at £15.19bn.

Overall, the figures mean that the East’s total exports for the nine months to the end of September were 4.9% down on the same period a year earlier at £27.04bn.

The region’s exports to China continue to grow strongly, up 9% at £766m. Other export markets showing robust growth for the region include Mexico, up 52% at £214m, the United States (the East’s biggest export market), up 8.7% at £3.5bn, and ? bucking the downward EU trend ? Greece up 28% at £90m. Outside of the EU, sale to Switzerland were up 34% at £508m.

Other highlights for the region include a 26% increase in exports to Hong Kong at £613m, India up 6.3% at £308m and a 200% in exports to Angola with the annual total now at £255m.

Liz Basing, East of England Regional Director for UKTI, said: “It is encouraging to see continuing strong rises in markets outside the EU, particularly high-growth markets like China and India where significant opportunities continue to exist.

“Only recently we have seen the Prime Minister lead the largest ever trade mission to China which has helped in securing £5.6bn worth of deals for UK companies, including some in our region.

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“However, the EU remains a core focus for many of our region’s exporters. More recently we have seen the eurozone start to turn a corner, and our increased trade to Greece is of particular note.

“We can do much more. UKTI is committed to helping more businesses grow through exports, with support both here at home and through our extensive overseas network.

“Over the coming months we will be running a number of events and overseas trade missions for start-ups and emerging companies, for whom exporting might seem a daunting step.

“In the new year we will be hosting a series of intensive workshops to ensure the best new business ideas across the region get in export-ready shape; and we will also run a series of Export Insight visits to countries within the EU for new and novice exporters to give them an introduction to exporting and the help available to them through our overseas network.”

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