The amount of goods exported by West Mildands companies rose by 6.1 per cent last year – and has outpaced the country-wide trend.

HMRC export figures for the West Midlands for 2012 show goods exports rose to £21.4 billion, from £20.2 billion in 2011.

The West Midlands now accounts for 9.9 per cent of England’s exports, up from 9.3 per cent a year ago.

And the year ended well, with fourth quarter exports of £5.8 billion representing the highest on record for the region.

The data shows the European Union was the strongest trade partner, with £14.6 billion worth exported there, up from £13.7 billion last year, while exports to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America also rose.

Roy Harris, HSBC Regional commercial director for the Midlands, said: “Exports have risen once again in the West Midlands and this performance consolidates the region’s position as a major exporting presence in the UK.

“It is particularly pleasing to see West Midlands companies growing sales in emerging markets as we believe that it is exports to these countries that will help drive the UK economy.

“For example, the value of West Midlands’ exports to Asia has more than doubled since 2009, which demonstrates the forward thinking nature of this region’s companies and which we expect major growth in world trade to be generated.

“We have some fantastic businesses, both large and small, leading the field in the export market and we want to help companies continue this growth path.”