New data released this month has shown that Wales is enjoying a rapid growth in the number of its exporting business.
Over the period from 2012 to 2014 the number of exporting businesses within the region grew from 3,700 to 4,900.
These statistics, compiled by Santander Corporate & Commercial using government data from the Office of National Statistics, represent a massive 32% growth in Wales.
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While the overall numbers of Welsh exporting companies remains small, the growth that can be seen over the 3 year data period is significant, and likely reflects the success of policies implemented by the current regional government.
Outside of Wales, both Scotland and Yorkshire saw the next highest rates of growth for goods and services exporters.
Yorkshire experienced a 21% growth in this area, increasing from 11,500 businesses to 13,900 over the same three year period.
Meanwhile Scotland also saw similar increases, with the number of exporters rising from 9,500 to 11,100, to see a 17% growth rate through to 2014. These numbers show the continuing strength of the Scottish brand across a number of sectors.
Overall, the UK as a whole grew 5% in this area, going from 210,200 exporting businesses in 2012 to a figure of 221,000 in 2014.
“Our analysis shows some strong growth in the number of British firms that export, particularly with regards to the services sector. However, it is vital that more firms focus on international trade as a primary driver of growth,” said John Carroll, head of product management and international business at Santander Corporate & Commercial.
“2016 is a key year for British businesses and exporting: trading internationally has become even more important to the national business narrative, as evidenced by the Government’s target to grow UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.”
Brexit makes continued growth uncertain
While the trend for the number of exporters has been upward over the last years, this could begin to reverse in 2016 due to fears of a so-called ‘Brexit’ – a British exit from the EU.
Such an situation could hurt the UK’s ability to easily trade with its neighboring countries within the EU and reduce investor confidence.
In such an eventuality, the UK would have to focus on emerging economies like China and India in order to create new export opportunities.