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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
9 December, 2011 - 10:48 By Tony Quested

Exports from Cambridge region continue to soar

Liz Basing, UKTI’s East of England International Trade Director

Exports from companies in Cambridge and the East of England have yet again topped the £25bn mark in the last year, with the region accounting for almost one pound in every 10 of what the UK sells to the rest of the world, according to new figures from HM Revenue & Customs.

In the 12 months to the end of September, exports from the region reached £26.56bn, an increase of 20 per cent against the year to the end of September 2010.

Despite problems in the Eurozone, exports to the EU rose by 28 per cent over the same period – to £16.96bn – with only London showing a faster rate of increase.

The figures also reveal big year-on-year rises in exports to Eastern European countries outside the EU (up over 80 per cent to £702m), Latin America (up 22 per cent to £386m) and Asia and Oceania, which saw an increase of 13 per cent to £3.17bn.

Liz Basing, UKTI’s International Trade Director for the region, said: “Closest to home, the East of England is outperforming every region outside London in trade growth with the European Union. On the other side of the world, we have never exported so much to the fast-growing economies of Asia.

“But the reality is that not enough SMEs export their products and many of our smaller firms are missing out. Many more SMEs can be part of this growth story and could be looking overseas for new business opportunities. There is a whole world out there!

“To support companies in growing their export business UK Trade & Investment has launched its ‘Export for Growth’ competition. If you’re an SME with a big export idea we’re keen to hear from you, particularly if you’re new to exporting or relatively inexperienced. Just tell us – in 200 words – what your idea is, why it’s workable and why now is the best time to take it to the market.”

The competition aims to encourage more SMEs to take their products and services to overseas markets by offering a comprehensive package of support to the company with the best export idea.

The winner will receive UKTI support worth £5000 to help research overseas markets and three grants for overseas travel to their target markets, plus expert business knowledge and insight from sponsor companies.

There will also be prizes for the second and third placed ideas, with all shortlisted companies having access to professional mentoring support to develop their pitch presentation with a UKTI International Trade Adviser.

To find out more about the Export for Growth prize and download an entry form, visit

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