Nigeria and India have been named the fastest growing export markets for the UK, according to official figures.
Analysis of ONS data by Santander Corporate & Commercial shows that exports to Nigeria grew by 27% in 2018 to £1.63 billion, while India saw a 24% rise to £5.52bn.
Of the top 10 fastest-growing markets, seven are non-EU countries. In addition to Nigeria and India, exports to Thailand were 19%, Taiwan 18%, Norway and Canada 13%, and Japan 10%. The only EU countries to sit in the top 10 were Greece (up 21%), Netherlands (17%) and Ireland (9%).
Despite seeing slower growth than other regions, the EU is still the UK's biggest export market by quite some distance. At £167bn, exports to the EU are worth more than 2.5 times that the UK's next largest region, Asia & the Pacific, which is worth just over £63bn.
Gautam Sehgal, India Alliances Director at Santander UK, said: "India is a thriving market with a strong rate of economic growth. Its drive towards infrastructure expansion is well reflected in a 65% rise in exports of electrical energy infrastructure from the UK in 2018 alone. The data also shows a significant increase in automotive, advanced engineering and medical sector exports - industries which are considered major contributors to UK job creation and GDP. As the world's fastest-growing economy, India is a key international trading partner."
John Carroll, head of international at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: "It's exciting to see British companies embracing new international trade opportunities, not just with established trading superpowers like the US, Germany and Japan but also in evolving markets such as India and Nigeria. Taking the leap into new and less traditional markets can seem daunting at first, but we know that companies who trade internationally often have stronger growth prospects and are more resilient against economic uncertainty at home."
The UK exported £350bn in goods in 2018, up 3% on 2017, and £279bn in services, which was just a 0.2% rise. Overall, total exports hit an all-time high of £629bn in 2018, a 2% increase on the previous year.