Foreign markets grow for NW businesses

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Latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs show that exports to China and the Netherlands continue to grow for North West exporters.

Overall exports for 2013 are £27.5 billion for the region, with exports to the Netherlands up 12 per cent since 2011 to £2.4 billion and exports to China up 4 per cent to £1.6 billion.

The biggest market for the North West was the United States of America, with Germany falling to second place.

The other top export markets were Netherlands, China and France, with Saudi Arabia taking sixth place with exports last year totally £1.4 billion.

However, the value of exports is down on last year, mainly accounted for by a drop in reported sales from the chemical sector.

Sectors which are on the increase are food and live animals, up 14 per cent to £1.25bn, machinery and transport equipment up 5 per cent to £7.1 billion and manufactured goods, up 11 per cent to £2.2 billion.

Paul Stowers, deputy regional director for UKTI North West said: “Once again, the dip in exports from the North West is due to a drop in reported chemical sales – if you look outside this sector we are doing quite well in general and our performance in some markets is excellent, especially the Netherlands.”

UKTI is the government department that helps UK companies compete globally.