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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Welcomes Solid Export Performance

Chamber Chief Executive George CowcherBusinesses from across the East Midlands exported almost £20bn worth of goods and services in 2014, according to new figures.

The latest trade in goods statistics released this week by HM Revenue & Customs revealed that total exports from the region last year were worth £19.79bn.

This was down from the record £21.46bn posted in 2013, falling to a similar level as the £19.94bn recorded in 2012.

The year saw significant gains in the value of exports to China, which were up by 28.2% to £939.7m. Exports to Japan saw a small gain (up by 2.3% to £208.1m), while exports to Mexico increased by 36.8% (to £90.6m).

The Chamber’s International Trade team processed the documentation for exports worth more than £483m in 2014. The top three markets for businesses using this service were Turkey, which received exports worth £79.8m, Saudi Arabia (£61.6m) and the UAE (£53.8m). Exports to China were worth £19.9m.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber – the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire - said it was another solid year, which gave local firms a strong platform on which to build in 2015.

He said: “Although the value of exports originating from the East Midlands was down on 2013’s bumper figure, it was still a solid performance by the region’s exporters in 2014. The increase in sales to China was particularly pleasing because this is seen as a key market.

“However, although our exporters are rising to the challenge despite the uncertain global outlook, this has yet to translate into stronger trade and current account figures and until these pick up, UK growth will continue to look unbalanced.

“In spite of these positive figures, now is not the time for complacency as the Government’s ambitious export target is a steep hill to climb.

"Evidence suggests that when businesses do export, they grow, on average, by 20% more than businesses which don’t. If we are to make real progress towards rebalancing the economy, the business community and the Government must work in partnership to step change the approach to supporting existing and potential exporters.

“To link more UK businesses to the vast opportunities around the world, potential exporters – many of whom are unable to access finance even before they are able to consider global expansion – need to be better supported.

“This is something the Chamber is working extremely hard on through its contract with East Midlands Business to deliver UK Trade & Investment services throughout the East Midlands.

“Strengthening the UK’s international trade performance should be a top priority for the incoming Government.”

Header image on news page CC BY 2.0 Bernal Saborio

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