East Midlands cashes in on export boom
Exports from the East Midlands to the fast-growing economies of China, India, the Middle-East and North Africa soared by a quarter in the first half of the year.
Official figures showed regional firms sold £140 million worth of goods to the Middle East and North Africa in the six months to June 30, a rise of 27 per cent on the same period last year. Exports from the region to Asia – mainly China and India – hit £2 billion over the same period, up 24 per cent. Overall, exports from the region rose by 7 per cent to £9.1 billion between January and June, according to statistics from Revenue & Customs.
However, sales made by East Midlands' companies to countries in the European Union fell by 5 per cent to £4 billion.
Peter Hogarth, East Midlands director of the Government's export agency, UK Trade and Investment, said the East Midlands saw the biggest increase in exports of any region in the three months to June 30.
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"We can't afford to rest on our laurels," he said. "To get growth, we need even more companies to export.
Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: "Many companies in the region are reporting positive order books and demonstrating there are real opportunities for export growth from countries outside of the troubled eurozone."
Ron Lynch, East Midlands director for the Institute of Directors, said: "These results provide a real shot in the arm for regional business confidence."