By Daniel Hunter

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has welcomed the news that the East of England region’s exports to countries outside the EU continue to rise.

Latest statistics released by HMRC on 5 September showed that exports to markets outside the EU continue to rise by 8.7 per cent year on year and they now stand at £12.11bn. Non-EU exports now account for 44 per cent of exports, compared to 39 per cent a year ago, while exports to the EU are down by 11 per cent compared to this time last year.

Key export markets showing strong growth for the region include the USA up 22.9 per cent at £3.65bn; exports to India increased 13.7 per cent giving a total of £324m; while exports to China and Brazil are up 8.6 and 7.6 per cent making them worth £751m and £153m respectively.

Other highlights include a 164 per cent rise in exports to Mexico with the annual total now £255m; a 52 per cent increase to Indonesia to give a total of £46m and a 36.7 per cent rise to Nigeria to give a total of £296m. And Switzerland was bucking the EU trend with a 24 per cent increase giving a total of £504m.

In the second quarter of the year, from April to June 2013, the total value of goods exported from the region was £7.073bn, up 3.4 per cent on the same period last year.

Liz Basing, East of England Regional Director for UKTI, said: “The region has enjoyed another excellent export performance this quarter in some of the most exciting growth markets. Of course the figures for the EU are disappointing but we must remember that it is still an important market and recent figures show a much more positive outlook.

“Developing markets are changing the face of international business with many millions of potential new customers, low-cost communications and improving infrastructure. It is these growing economies which represent significant opportunities both now and importantly into the future. And the East of England is ahead of the game in embracing these opportunities.”

“But we can do much more. In the UK only one in five businesses export whereas the average on the continent is one in four. UKTI is committed to reducing that gap and helping more businesses grow through exports with support both here at home and through our extensive overseas network. And during our forthcoming Export Week starting on 11 November we will be banging the drum even louder to encourage more businesses to take that step and go international.”

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