While the Commonwealth Games are heading to the UK, businesses from the East Midlands are heading to the Commonwealth.
The latest statistics show that South Africa, Kenya and Cameroon proved to be valuable markets for East Midlands exporters. Between April 2013 and March 2014 exports to South Africa were £147.1m, an increase of 16.8% on the same period of the previous year, and Kenya reached £27.2m, an increase of 12.6%, while exports to smaller market Cameroon were £2.1m, an increase of 26.4%.
Australia remains a strong market for the region, with exports for the year to March 2014 at £239.5m, up by 4.5% compared to this time last year. In Asia, exports to Pakistan rose by over 30% to reach £36.6m. And exports to the Caribbean islands of Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago experienced some encouraging growth.
Export Chief for the East Midlands, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Regional Director Ian Harrison, said: “Trade within the Commonwealth is estimated at £300bn a year and the Games will provide further opportunities to boost our exports to these countries, providing the chance to showcase the high quality products and services we can offer.
“Our role at UKTI is to make sure companies continue to export and make the most of any opportunities available.
“This is why we need to maximise the opportunities that the Commonwealth Games will bring, so this is the reason why UKTI is working closely with Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and the Commonwealth Business Council to deliver a business conference in Glasgow. This aims to attract more than 200 business CEOs and political leaders from across the Commonwealth, ahead of the opening of the Games, and will provide an opportunity to discuss key priorities for the development of growth in Commonwealth countries.”
The latest export figures released by HMRC, for January to March 2014, show that exports for the East Midlands rose by 5.5% for the financial year – up from £20.11bn to £21.85bn to the end of March 2014. The HMRC statistics show that the region is still one of four which continue to grow.
The top five markets for the East Midlands remain the USA, Germany, China (including Hong Kong), Belgium and Singapore.
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