East of England: Region ‘leads way’ in finding new markets, says UKTI

China is one of the export markets the UK is targeting

China is one of the export markets the UK is targeting - Credit: AP

THE East of England is leading the way for other regions with a 16% rise in exports to countries outside the European Union, says a Government body tasked with driving overseas trade.

UK Trade & Investment is now encouraging the region’s businesses to boost their sales in high-growth markets as it launches next week.

Exporters were given cause for optimism yesterday after new figures showed an improvement in the UK’s trade deficit in March.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the value of exports increased by 3.5% on the previous month, helping the deficit on trade in goods and services narrow to £3.1billion from £3.4bn a month earlier.

This was despite a 2.6% increase in the value of imports and a widening of the deficit with the European Union in the quarter, mainly on trade with Germany and the Netherlands.

UKTI’s Export Week: High Growth Markets, which runs from Monday, will give local businesses access to specialist help and advice to help them successfully tackle high growth markets such as Brazil, India, China, Turkey, Nigeria and the Middle East.

Its week-long series of events includes a masterclass on export finance in Ipswich, a workshop on doing business in Turkey in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire and a masterclass on Brazil hosted at the Hethel Engineering Centre outside Norwich.

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The global economic centre of gravity has shifted towards high-growth markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, and others such as Colombia, Indonesia, and Qatar, UKTI says.

Liz Basing, regional director for UKTI East of England said: “The big story for the East of England is an impressive 16.4% rise in exports to countries outside of the EU.

“A rise of 28% in goods exports put the United States back in top spot as our most important export destination, while exports to the Middle East rose by 11%, to Latin America by 14% and to Southern Africa by a massive 97%.

“Economies such as China, India and Brazil are growing rapidly and an increasing number of local businesses are growing and prospering by selling to these markets. High Growth Export Week is aimed at helping ever more companies share in this success, finding new customers and growing their businesses in markets such as these.”

UKTI is looking to reach as many businesses as it can with information about the opportunities and the support available, she said.

“There is still a huge amount of export business to be done. So if you’re wondering where to go for help to grow your business internationally then the answer is very simple – get in touch with UKTI and find out how we can help you.”.

Events taking place in our region over Export Week include:

13 May - Nigeria Masterclass - Cambridge

13 May - Doing business in Turkey – Alconbury, Cambridgeshire

14 May - Education opportunities in the Middle East - Cambridge

15 May - Export finance, doing deals in high growth markets - Ipswich

16 May - Brazil Gateway Masterclass – Hethel Engineering Centre ,Norfolk

17 May - Winning Business in China & India - Newmarket, Suffolk