New data published today by UK Government shows that goods exports have risen in Wales and across the UK. The figures show an increase in exports from Wales by 4.2% to £16.6bn, compared to the previous quarter.
Welcoming the positive figures, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
"Yet again, Wales is punching above its weight in the global export market, proving that opportunities can also lie in markets outside of the European Union, due to the demand that exists for our products and services.
"But there are still many opportunities not being realised, and the UK Government’s new Export Strategy aims to address this. It sets out a UK-wide ambition to raise our exports as a proportion of GDP from 30% to 35%, putting us towards the top of the G7. To achieve this, it proposes a new range of measures to help support Welsh companies on the world stage, giving them the practical, promotional and financial support they need to export."
The positive figures come following Alun Cairns’ recent visit to South Africa where he joined the Prime Minister and a delegation of UK businesses for a key trade and investment mission.
He joined International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP at the Board of Trade meeting in Coventry where his focus will be on promoting cross border links between Wales and the Midlands Engine.
The meeting follows the announcement that the Board of Trade baton will be passed to Wales later this year where prominent figures from business and politics from all over the UK will convene in Swansea in November to recognise local companies with Board of Trade Awards (BOFTAs). The National Trade Academy Programme will also run a Welsh business showcase.
In Coventry, Dr Fox is set to announce that three new High Potential Opportunities areas – in Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire – will be promoted to investors around the world, in an estimated multi-billion pound boost to the UK economy.
The scheme, coordinated by the Department for International Trade, identifies opportunities to attract foreign direct investment into emerging sectors, regions and clusters – creating new jobs and growth in every corner of the UK.
Alun Cairns added:
"Through the Board of Trade, the UK Government celebrates exceptional businesses who are making great strides in innovation, creating jobs and strengthening their local economies, whilst championing free trade.
"Welsh exports continue to grow year on year, and the Board of Trade will replicate the UK Government support and recognition demonstrated in the Midlands when the meeting arrives in Swansea later this year."
Whilst in Coventry, Dr Fox will also announce a second international trade summer school, to run in summer 2019. This follows the success of this year’s National Trade Academy Programme summer school. Applications will open in February.
Finally, Dr Fox will award nine BOFTAs, or Board of Trade Awards, to Midlands companies for their excellence in international trade, demonstrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism.
The figures show an increase in exports from all nations of the UK:
- Exports of goods from England increased by 4.3% to £244.8bn;
- In Scotland, goods exports increased by 7% to £28.8bn;
- In Wales, goods exports increased by 4.2% to £16.6bn;
In Northern Ireland, goods exports increased by 0.8% to £8.5bn;
- Read the HMRC figures in full
- The Export Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.
- It presents a streamlined and targeted offer for businesses of all sizes, set to raise productivity, boost wages and protect employment across the UK.