Call to action for North West exporters

March 15th, 2013



UKTI North West encourages exporters to renew their efforts

Exports from the North West in 2012 were £25.2 billion, according to figures released yesterday by HM Revenue & Customs.

China, India, Brazil, the Middle East and North Africa all saw exports from the North West grow – with exports to China increasing by an impressive 9% to £1.6 billion, making it the North West’s third biggest market.

This year, as expected, the region’s exports to Greater China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) smashed the £2 billion barrier for the first time ever.

The biggest success story for the region was the Netherlands, which saw exports rise over 10% to £1.3 billion, making it the North West’s fifth largest market.

However – although UK exports overall have grown 0.3% to £269 billion – figures for the region were down 5% on last year, mainly due to a poor second quarter.

Exports to the EU fell by £1 billion to £12.7 billion, and the USA, although still the region’s biggest market, also fell by 9% to £4.2 billion.

Deputy Director of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) North West Mike Eccleshall declared that the figures should act as a call to action to the region’s firms.

He says, “Although it is disappointing that exports have declined overall since last year, the region is still the country’s fourth biggest exporter, after London, the South East and East regions, with the chemicals, machinery, transport and materials sectors bringing in the highest levels of investment.  

“We need to remember that exports in the North West enjoyed a record year in 2011, and despite the fall this year there are still positives when you look at the detail, such as the increase in sales to China, now making this our 3rd biggest export market. 

“In fact, we are also seeing increased export sales to other high growth markets across Latin America (up 8%) the Middle East and North Africa (also up 8%) and Asia and Oceania (up 2%).   Sales to Brazil are also up 1% to £170 million, and exports to India are back on the increase after a fall in 2011, rising 1% to £362 million.

“These are the world's growing economies, which offer tomorrow's opportunities, so it is very encouraging to see North West companies already succeeding in them.”

UKTI North West are planning a special Export Week next month from 13 – 17 May with a packed programme of North West events planned to help exporters successfully take on these High Growth Markets. 

There will be free events focussing on India, Eastern Europe, Central and Latin America, and a launch in Liverpool on Monday 13 May which will not only showcase opportunities in high growth markets but which will direct businesses to where they can find support.  

Speakers will include UKTI’s Regional Director Clive Drinkwater, expert economists plus representatives from a range of countries as well as UKTI’s Export Champions – local businesses who have already succeeded in these markets.

For more information please visit the website:  

Businesses can get help and advice on how to export successfully by visiting or by calling the North West International Trade Team on 0845 603 7053.

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