Chile, China and UAE are UK’s fastest growing export markets

Posted on 21 Jul 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

UK exports to Chile, China and the United Arab Emirates grew faster in 2013 than other key trading partners, according to official ONS data by Santander UK.

Chile was the fastest-growing export partner for the UK, with total exports to the country standing at £1.2b last year, while exports to China grew to £12.4b.

The UAE, which now buys £6.2b worth of British goods and services annually, has become a top 10 trading partner for the first time, nudging Switzerland into 11th place.

The US, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the Republic of Ireland remain the top five most significant export partners, with UK goods totalling £137b sold into these markets in 2013.

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The US is by far the most important single market to the UK economy, accounting for £41b, or 13.4% of all exports.

Goods sent to the six EU member states of Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands totalled £113b in 2013, even with exports to Germany falling 8.3% year-on-year.

Key Asian markets are also becoming much more valuable to the UK, along with a surge in demand in China, the UK benefitted from strong export growth in 2013 from India (up 12.8%), Malaysia (7.9%), Taiwan (7.7%), Indonesia (7.5%) and South Korea (6.4%).

The analysis found that the five markets to which UK exports declined the most in 2013 were South Africa (-29.7% to £2.6b), Switzerland (-13.4% to £5.8b), Kuwait (-8.6% to £562m), Australia (-8.4% to £4.3b), and Germany (-8.3% to £30b).

John Carroll, head of international at Santander UK, said: “Exporting is a key part of the success of the UK economy.

“The good news is that the world is becoming ever more open to trade and UK businesses need to take advantage of the opportunities available in new, existing and emerging markets.

“Botswana and Angola have broken into the top 50 UK trading partners this year, for instance, and there is increasing demand from countries in the Middle East and Asia.

“It is vital that UK businesses better understand the significant opportunities open to them and the success that can be achieved by exporting their goods and services abroad.

“Santander is committed to supporting international trade and growth opportunities and in addition to more than 14,000 branches worldwide and our network of international alliance partners, we operate an International Desk in each of our overseas markets.”