The West Midlands’ remarkable exports rise has slowed slightly in the last quarter – but the region continues to outpace the rest of the UK.
Goods exports from the region in the quarter to September 30 stood at £6.5 billion, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the same period last year.
While represented a fall of 0.5 per cent on the quarter before, UK-wide there has been a decrease of 5.4 per cent, HM Revenue & Customs data shows.
Since 2011 the region has seen sales to foreign shores rise by 30 per cent, while the country en masse has grown two per cent.
Such is the increase, on the back of Jaguar Land Rover’s success, the country would be in deficit across that period without this region’s input.
China continues to be the region’s largest export market with sales worth over £1 billion, followed by the US, also at just over £1 billion.
There were further increases in exports to non-EU markets which now account for 60 per cent of the region’s exports; including increases in exports to Sub-Saharan Africa; the Middle East and North Africa.
Paul Noon, regional director for UKTI West Midlands, said: “These figures show we are continuing to grow our exports at an impressive rate. China is now the region’s most important export market – we are the only English region with a trade surplus with China.
While JLR continues to lead the field – 20 per cent of everything the UK exports to China is from JLR – others are also performing extremely well.
Delcam has just signed its 2,500th deal in China, while Chinese investment in companies like the London Taxi Company are retaining skills and iconic brands in the region.
“The opportunities for growth in exports to, and investment from China are very significant.
Many smaller and mid-sized firms can benefit from exploring the Chinese market and UKTI is here to help them.