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East Midlands Chamber News

UKTI welcomes export growth in East Midlands

The international trade team at East Midlands UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) has welcomed latest trade statistics, which show companies across the region are winning more and more business abroad.

HMRC's Regional Trade Statistics for the second quarter of 2015, published on 3 September, reveal that exports of goods in the East Midlands increased by 2.3% in Q2 2015, compared to Q1 2015 (£4.90bn in Q2 2015 and £4.79bn Q1 2015) - a quarter-on-quarter rise.

The number of exporters in the region also increased by 3.4% to 4,033 in Q2 2015, compared to Q1 2015 when the figure was 3,902.

The figures for the latest quarter also show a slight year-on-year increase for the region over the same period in 2014, with exports up by 1% (£4.90bn in Q2 2015, compared to £4.86bn in Q2 2014) and the number of exporters increasing by 2.1% to 4,033 in Q2 2015 (compared to 3,949 in Q2 2014).

The top five markets for the East Midlands are USA (£776.5m), Germany (£481.0m), Singapore (£308.0m), Belgium (£296.1m) and Irish Republic (£271.3m).

Meanwhile, the East Midlands' split of exports to outside the EU increased again this quarter from 56.0% in Q1 2015 to 58.1% in Q2 2015, reflecting an increase in attention being paid to other fast-growing markets.

The region was also one of only seven to have increased its exports in Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015.

Ian Harrison, UKTI Regional Director for the East Midlands region said:

"These figures demonstrate that companies are looking overseas in increasing numbers to win more business in new markets. We know that exporting is vital for the long-term health of the region and the economy. Evidence tells us that those companies that export grow faster and are more profitable than those who don't, and we need more firms to make this bold move if we are to hit the Government’s ambitious targets."

Ian added that doing business abroad does not need to be a leap into the unknown:

"UKTI can help give companies the information, advice, intelligence and contacts they need to win lucrative export orders. We support a range of businesses from the very small and recently established who are trying to win their first overseas order to businesses already trading successfully abroad."

One firm which is reaping the rewards of exporting is manufacturing firm and Chamber member Kugel Motion, based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, which has recently won several major new contracts in Turkey after working with UKTI East Midlands.

The company, which has a turnover of around £400,000, specialises in manufacturing custom ball screw products and was keen to tap into new markets overseas for the first time.

Alexander O'Neill, for Kugel Motion, said: "We wanted to actively export products to Turkey and with the help of our expert UKTI Trade Adviser were able to roadmap our route into the country.

"We attended the very useful Passport to Export Workshop run by UKTI, which was invaluable in helping us understand the strategies we needed to put in place and the different issues we needed to be aware of in order to successfully contact potential customers.

"Working with UKTI has meant doors being opened so that we could win work in foreign markets for the first time and we have now secured some great contracts amounting to around ten per cent of our current turnover. We've been delighted with how it has all worked out and hope to increase exports over the coming years."

Ian said: “Turkey is just one market showing strong signs of growth. We have also seen significant growth in Latin America and in Sub-Saharan Africa in the first six months of this year. I would encourage companies to get in touch with UKTI to make the most of these opportunities”.