Department for International Trade
236,000 UK businesses making the most of overseas opportunities
The number of UK businesses exporting abroad has increased by 6.6% to 235,800 in 2017, according to newly published figures.
Published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Annual Business Survey shows further good news for the UK economy. Figures demonstrate an increase in the number of companies of all sizes selling their products to overseas buyers.
Figures released earlier this month show that total exports from the UK reached £637bn in September, an increase of 4.4% on the previous year. This demonstrates that demand for British goods and services continues to grow from around the world.
Key highlights from the report show:
- The number of SME companies exporting abroad increased by 6.6% to 232,000 (9.8% of all SMEs), whilst the number of large businesses who export increased by 6.1% to 3,500 (41.7% of all large businesses)
- New businesses are making the most of export opportunities, with the number of companies which are less than 2 years old and exported last year increasing by 19.9% to 47,000
- Established businesses are also making the most of support that is on offer for exporters, as the number of businesses over 10 years old who export also increased by 10.2% to 115,300
Figures released yeserday (28 November) by HMRC also show that nearly 36,000 British businesses are exporting goods to the US, with another 15,000 sending their goods to Australia. The news follows the conclusion of the Department for International Trade’s consultations on potential Free Trade Agreements with both countries.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, yeserday said:
Today’s news is further evidence that the high-quality goods and services produced by British businesses are selling all over the world. As an international economic department, when my Ministerial team and I travel abroad, we see first hand the unprecedented demand for British products, and the results of the Annual Business Survey show that we are responding to the demand.
Our Export Strategy sets out an offer to every business that has the ambition to start exporting or increase their existing operation, as we look to move exports as a percentage of GDP from 30% to 35%.
This weekend marks the annual celebration of UK SMEs with government Ministers out across the country to mark Small Business Saturday. DIT’s Ministers will visit companies across the country, emphasising that exporting can increase the profitability and sustainability of businesses, as well as having a positive impact on their local economy.
Gnaw Chocolate is just one of the British companies that is finding international success. Founded in Norfolk in 2011, the business now exports to over 20 countries worldwide. In the first six months of 2018 alone, Gnaw launched its products in the US, China, France, Morocco, South Africa, Germany and are soon to launch its Single origin Brooke & Amble range in Russia. Future target markets for growth include Australia and expansion of its markets across the Middle East.
Matt Legon, Gnaw Chocolate’s Founder, yeserday said:
There are opportunities all over the world for ambitious businesses. If you are looking to build your business at a faster rate, then it is worth seriously considering the benefits exporting can bring. Exporting has provided the cornerstone of what we have been able to achieve here at Gnaw.
In August, the government launched a new Export Strategy which sets out how DIT will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.
A collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms - the Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.
It presents a streamlined and targeted offer for businesses of all sizes, set to raise productivity, boost wages and protect employment across the UK.
- In 2017, the number of registered businesses in Great Britain trading internationally was estimated at 340,500, which represented 14.3% of the total number of businesses in the Great Britain non-financial economy; an increase from 13.7% according to latest 2016 estimates.
- Read the full Annual Business Survey.
- Read the HMRC UK trade in goods by business characteristics statistics data.
Latest News from
Department for International Trade
International Trade Secretary’s vision for new UK-USA trade agreement25/06/2019 13:25:00
In a speech in London today, Dr Liam Fox will set out how the UK and USA can benefit from an ambitious future free trade agreement.
Scottish food and drink exports on the rise21/06/2019 08:10:00
New data from the Department for International Trade reveals that the average consumer in Singapore spent £40 on food and drink products from Scotland in 2018.
UK Export Finance powers UK export boom with record £6.8 billion support in 2018 to 201920/06/2019 15:20:00
The UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, marks centenary with best results for 28 years.
Big wins for British businesses as Vice Premier Hu Chunhua visits18/06/2019 15:22:00
Deals between British and Chinese companies worth more than £500 million were announced yesterday, during a visit to the UK by Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua.
Northern healthcare firms target new opportunities in Africa18/06/2019 14:20:00
Health sector businesses from the Northern Powerhouse could benefit from new export opportunities across Africa thanks to a recent trade mission led by DIT.
£230M boost for British beef as China agrees market access18/06/2019 13:12:00
British beef could be served on Chinese dinner plates by the end of the year, following an agreement reached yesterday between China and the UK.
Liam Fox visits Turkey to strengthen trade relations17/06/2019 14:20:00
The International Trade Secretary will meet with government ministers and businesses to strengthen bilateral relations.
Growing thirst for Northern Ireland Whiskey overseas14/06/2019 11:20:00
Northern Ireland’s distilleries are contributing to the global Irish Whiskey renaissance.