By Maximilian Clarke

The UK’s business secretary, Vince Cable, this morning (Wednesday) announced his intention to ramp up trade with high growth markets both to help trade the UK out of the prolonged downturn, and also to lay the foundations for a more stable economic future.

The 12 countries earmarked by UK Trade & Investment for increased investment last year contributed some £25bn (US$39bn) to the UK economy, though this figure is considered well below the region’s potential.

Every year, the equivalent of the entire German middle class is added to Asia’s consumer market and by 2030 Asian consumers will be spending US$32tn annually. Fostering a stronger trade relationship with the region therefore is vital to the UK’s economic competitiveness.

The Confederation of British Industry have long recognised the vital role trade with high growth markets, and consequently have welcomed the UKTI’s announcement. Commenting, Elizabeth Fells, CBI Head of International Strategy, said:

“China and India are increasingly important to the UK, but we must also focus on other fast-growing Asian economies, such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, if we are to truly boost our exports.

“Selling overseas will be vital to the recovery. If we are bolder in our ambitions and with the right conditions created by the Government, exporting new goods and services could add £20 billion to the UK economy by 2020.”

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