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West Midlands exports nudge closer to £28 billion mark

New HMRC stats show region has highest growth percentage in England as local company wins three-year India deal with JCB

The West Midlands has seen the highest growth in international trade as exports from the region nudged closer to the £28 billion mark.

Latest annual statistics from HM Revenue & Customs show that exports from the region are now worth £27.8 billion, up from £23.3 billion, for the year to March 2014.

HMRC said the annual research placed the West Midlands as the top region for overseas growth, having the highest year-on-year percentage increase (19.2 per cent) in exports in England.

In the first quarter of the new financial period, China remains the biggest export market for the West Midlands, accounting for £1.2 billion of the £7.1 billion of total exports.

In a separate announcement, Temple Management Training (TMT) has won its largest international contract, to work with JCB on three of its bases in India.

The company, based next to Birmingham Airport, will train up to 50 staff over the next three years in quality management and customer services.

Commencing in the autumn, TMT's work will cover all levels up to degree and take place at bases in Delhi, Pune and a new site in Jaipur due to open soon.

The contract win came after TMT attended a trade mission to India organised by UK Trade & Investment earlier this year.

Managing director Bob Hughes said: "We would recommend any company looking to export to India to go on a market visit.

"Although TMT have previously done training for JCB UK, it's still important to appreciate the cultural differences in doing business in India compared to the UK.

"The British High Commission in India was a great resource for us in terms of giving us advice and setting up meetings, including with JCB India, as well as our local international trade advisor based at UKTI's Coventry and Warwickshire team."

UKTI regional director Paul Noon added: "Trade within the Commonwealth is estimated at £300bn a year and the Games will provide further opportunities to boost this trade.

"The latest statistics show the West Midlands still leads the way by having the largest year-on-year increase in exports.

"We have now moved up a place to become the third biggest regional exporter, behind the South East and London.

"Trade deals such as this one won by TMT, prove that international demand is not just for West Midlands goods, but for our services too."

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