East Anglia: US overtakes Germany as region’s top export destination

Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment

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

THE East of England’s exports to countries outside the European Union are growing faster than those of any other UK region or nation, according to new figures from HM Revenue & Customs.

Total exports from the region in the final three months of 2012 were worth £6.7billion, a 1.6% increase on the previous quarter, taking the rolling annual total to £26.7bn.

A 16.4% increase in exports from the East to non-EU countries year-on-year included a 28% rise in sales to the United States, helping it overtake Germany as the region’s leading export destination.

Hong Kong was the fastest-growing non-EU market for the East, with an increase of 57% last year. There was also strong growth in exports to Brazil, India and South Africa, with increases of 19%, 13% and 21% year-on-year respectively.

Total exports from the East to non-EU countries accounted for 43.8% of the region’s trade last year, compared with 36.5% in 2011.

Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said the growth in non-EU exports was hugely encouraging, and she urged the region’s firms to renew their efforts and follow in the footsteps of successful exporters.

“East of England companies are doing brilliantly in markets outside Europe. That is where the best long term growth prospects are but that does not mean Europe isn’t important.

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“The EU still accounts for more than half the exports and the US is once more the single most important overseas market for businesses in the East of England. My team at UKTI East is looking forward to helping even more regional companies do more business across the full range of markets from Brazil, Boston or Benelux.

“As part of our efforts to do this, we will be hosting a special Export Week – High Growth Markets event from May 13 to 17, 2013, with a packed programme of events to help companies across the region explore the opportunities in key markets around the world. “

For information about Export Week – High Growth Markets visit www.exportweek.ukti.gov.uk .