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12 March, 2012 - 11:11 By News Desk

Record £27bn exports for UK’s East region

Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment in the East of England

With a growth in exports of 20 per cent last year the East of England remains the UK’s second fastest growing exporting region.

Figures for 2011 hit a record breaking £27.43 billion, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs.

Exports for 2011 comfortably exceeded the £22.7 billion recorded in 2010. The latest figures show that the EU remains the most important export market for the East with a 12-month export value of £17.47 billion, followed by Asia and Oceania (£3.38bn) and North America (£3.07bn).

But according to Liz Basing, regional director for UK Trade & Investment in the East of England, now is not the time to get complacent.

More local firms need to rise to the exporting for growth challenge if the region and the wider UK is to continue to grow, she said.

Basing said: “Hitting £27 billion and seeing such growth is obviously great news for the East of England. Companies in our region are rising to the challenge to ‘Sell British’, and exploiting the opportunities for growth available to them overseas.

“However it’s still not enough. We need more companies looking to grow their businesses in the current climate to take up the export challenge so we can see our business base in the region continue to grow and continue to boost the economy.

“Our Exporting for Growth initiative over the past few months has encouraged many firms to explore new markets for their products overseas for the first time while helping existing exporters bring innovative new products, which the East of England is renowned for, to overseas markets through our Exporting for Growth prize.”

For the 12 months ending December 2011 the total value of exports from the East of England was £27.47 billion, 9.3 per cent of the UK total and a rise of 20.7 per cent compared with the equivalent period the year before.

The total value of UK exports over the period was £294.5 billion, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to the 12 months ending December 2010.

Basing added: “The latest figures show that the EU remains the most important export market for the East with a 12-month export value of £17.47 billion, followed by Asia and Oceania (£3.38bn) and North America (£3.07bn). We can help firms to explore these markets by offering impartial one-to-one advice and support.”

• To find out more call UKTI’s exporting hotline on 0845 641 9955.

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