Business leaders have warned that exports to Europe from the West Midlands must be maintained in response to the rescue deal for the euro.
In welcoming the deal, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group (BCCG) said exports from the region to Europe were on course for a 20 per cent increase this year over last.
The deal, agreed overnight by European leaders, will recapitalise Europe’s banks, write off 50% of Greek debt and boost the eurozone’s main bailout fund.
The framework for a new bailout fund, worth about 1tn euros, or £880 billion, is to be put in place in November.
BCCG president Michael Ward said: “With 7,000 companies exporting from the West Midlands we have a big stake in Europe working. We exported £4.8 billion to Europe in the first two quarters of this year and it is crucial that we maintain that drive following the deal in Brussels this morning.”
Nationally, Europe represents 49 per cent of current exports and with the US at 17 per cent total exports are on course for £20 billion this year.
Mr Ward added: “This means that if we maintain this thrust we are likely to record national and regional figures comparable with the pre-banking crisis, after which exports dropped by 27 per cent.
“Europe has recovered since and is now half our exports with the first six months of this year worth nearly £5 billion. We are now 20 per cent up on last year with the value of the pound and the success of exports to the US contributory factors.
“It is encouraging that eurozone problems have not yet hit trade but clearly the region would be hit extremely hard if we did see exports to Europe dip.
“We are a £100 billion economy according to last AWM figures. So exports account for say £20 billion, or 20 per cent of our economy.”
All figures largely represent the manufacturing sector, including machine tools and goods like chemicals.