Data from the Office for National Statistics have shown how UK firms have been capitalising on opportunities outside of the European Union over the last 18 months.
The figures show that in the year to September 2019, EU exports grew by 1.3% to just under £300 billion. Non-EU exports, however, grew 6.3% to £373.7 billion – including 60% of service-sector exports such as finance, travel and transport.
The ONS data also showed a further quarterly increase in exports, reaching a record high in Q3 last year. The trade deficit of goods also fell to £29.2 billion from £34.7 billion between Q2 and Q3 with increased exports helping shrink the gap.
Liz Truss, Internationa Trade Secretary, commented on the figures that: “These figures show how big the opportunities are for British businesses exporting across the world, and the strength of the trade relationship with the USA and Japan.
“This government will continue to back our business communities to ensure they have the tools to seize this opportunity and take full advantage of all its benefits.
“My priority is to strike new trade deals with key partners and to open up new markets to British products as we go forward and leave the European Union.”
Read more: UK business confidence on the rise
The increase in worldwide trade for UK firms, or that outside of the EU bloc, is a positive movement for businesses as Brexit looms in just over two weeks.
It indicates that companies have for the last 18 months been broadening their horizons, either as a strategic ploy to dampen any impact of whatever EU market access agreement is rolled-out – or indeed facilitating organic orders fuelled by increased global demand for British goods and services.
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