Container ship ready to export
Exports of goods from the South East increased 10.9% to £45.2bn during 2017 compared to the previous 12 months, the latest HMRC figures show.
The results show that the South East of England is home to more than 24,000 exporters with an average value of £1.8m per exporter.
One South East business that has experienced this uplift first-hand is Leatherhead-based glassware and accessories company Svaja Ltd.
The company has firmly established its presence in the Middle East thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Following DIT support the company has successfully won contracts with Dubai-based luxury hotel chain the Jumeirah Group and property development company DAMAC Properties.
Ben Raby, regional director for the South East of England at Department for International Trade, said: “HMRC’s latest figures, which cover the full first year since the EU referendum, demonstrate the appetite for British goods abroad and the potential for businesses who want to expand overseas.
“These figures back up the experience of the many companies we work with across the South East that are already feeling the benefits of increased global trade and finding success in new markets.
“We have a network of International Trade Advisers across the South East of England who are on hand to support firms navigate new territories. We are also running a number of workshops and events that are designed to help companies overcome their concerns about exporting.”
This positive picture is also reflected in the latest Office for National Statistics figures. These show that UK exports rose 11.5% to £625.9bn in the year from February 2017 to the end of January 2018.
The ONS stats also show the country’s renowned service sector continues to thrive with exports up 10.1% to £281.4bn, increasing the service sector surplus to £107.9bn.
Goods exports also rose strongly by 12.6% to £344.5bn, with strong manufacturing figures leading the way in making the biggest contribution to this growth.
Exports continue to grow faster than imports with the overall trade deficit narrowing by £12.8bn from £41.6bn to £28.8bn.
International trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox said: “The UK is entering a period of unprecedented economic opportunity, with latest figures showing a surge in exports together with an increase in manufacturing output at the start of the year - this adds up to a positive picture for the British economy.”
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