South East exports of goods rose by 6.3% to £45.5 billion, for the year ending March 2018, according to the latest HMRC figures. The national picture shows that exports of goods from England increased by 6.5% to £244.6b.
The figures for the first quarter of 2018 (Jan-Mar) show that the South East is now home to more than 17,496 exporters, an increase of 4% when compared with the first quarter of 2017, with an average value of £652,000 per exporter.
One South East business that has experienced this uplift first-hand is handblown glass merchant Svaja. The Surrey-based business has secured international contracts worth £1 million since it began exporting in 2011. The business exports its artisan made glass designs to Hong Kong, France, Spain and the Middle East. With support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), 50% of its revenue is now generated through overseas trade.
The success of Svaja’s international expansion is being celebrated in DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. The campaign is currently showcasing 30-plus UK businesses – from a range of sectors and regions – to inspire and support firms up and down the country to export.
Ben Raby, head of exports for the South East at the Department for International Trade, said: “HMRC’s latest figures back up the first-hand experience of the many companies in the South East that are already feeling the benefits of increased global trade and successfully expanding into new overseas markets.
“We want firms to export their products and services and take advantage of the support available through DIT. We have a network of International Trade Advisers in the South East that can help businesses navigate the exporting journey.”
International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “As we continue our path to Brexit, HMRC’s latest figures clearly show every part of the UK making the most of global opportunities as goods exports rise across the country. More than 100,000 businesses are expanding their horizons and making the most of the demand for quality British goods.
“For some, this isn’t the end of the road but the start to their exporting journey. As they grow their networks and create jobs and prosperity across the UK, my international economic department is supporting them through our experienced international trade advisers and Exporting is GREAT campaign.”
Separate figures released by the Department for International Trade highlight British businesses feeling that UK exports are set to remain on an ever-growing upward curve as the UK leaves the European Union.
The National Survey of Registered Businesses (NSRB) 2017, published by the Department for International Trade (DIT) surveyed 3,000 businesses from across the UK.
- Nearly three-quarters (73%) of businesses with an annual turnover of £500,000 or more said they believed that there is strong demand for British good and services from around the world (up from 68% in 2015
- Almost half (47%) of all UK businesses believe that the value of UK exports will continue to grow over the next five years, more than double the amount who thought the opposite
- Nearly two thirds (63%) of businesses with an annual turnover of £500,000 or more businesses agreed that significantly more businesses could export be exporting (up from 55% in 2016)
- As the Department prepares to launch its Export Strategy, as many as 130,000 companies have made use of DIT’s export support offer
Firms in the South East looking for exporting support should contact DIT South East on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0330 300 0012. DIT is available to assist ambitious businesses that want to start or develop their export strategy or target new markets. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which gives businesses across the UK access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business.