UK exports of goods and services to the rest of the world were higher than UK exports to the EU for ninth year running, ONS figures published today (Tuesday 31 July) confirm.
In figures released in the second calendar year after the EU referendum, exports to non-EU countries amounted to around £342 billion in 2017, showing the worldwide demand for British goods and services remains. Exports to EU countries were around £274 billion in 2017.
The fastest growing export market for the UK since 2010 was Oman, with exports increasing by 354% to £3 billion. This was followed by Macedonia (FYROM) with UK trade growing by 318% to £1 billion and then Kazakhstan which was up by 210% to £2 billion.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP said:
British goods remain in global demand as exports to non-EU countries continue to grow in markets such as Oman. It shows the confidence the world has in our goods and is important as 90% of global trade will come from outside EU.
As an international economic department, we have a dynamic and experienced team who will negotiate free trade deals and make a success of Brexit. We’re also supporting UK businesses in exporting more and talking to international businesses on why we should be the top destination for investment through our GREAT campaign.
Today’s figures also reveal in 2017:
- overall exports of goods rose by 13% to £339 billion
- overall exports of services rose by 7% to £277 billion
- the USA remains the UK’s top export market, buying over £112 billion worth of goods and services in 2017, an increase of 8% since 2016
The news is promising as separate ONS figures show that UK exports overall rose by 5% in the year to end May 2018. Our world-leading services sector recorded a trade surplus of £111 billion in the same period, with services exports totalling £279 billion in the year to May 2018.
The UK also attracted more than 2,000 foreign direct investment projects in financial year 2017 to 2018.