Small business exporters rise year-on-year

The number of UK businesses trading abroad has increased by 6.6 per cent to 235,800, new figures have revealed.

The Department for International Trade, which published the data, said the Annual Business Survey shows “further good news for the UK economy”.

It means that one in 10 (9.8 per cent) of SMEs now export abroad, increasing to over four in 10 (41.7 per cent) if large businesses are included.

Across all UK traders, total exports also rose to £637 billion – an increase of 4.4 per cent on the year previous.

Commenting on the figures, the Government said new businesses are making the most of export opportunities, with the number of exporting companies which are less than two years old increasing by 19.9 per cent to 47,000.

Likewise, established businesses are “also making the most of support” that is available, with the number of businesses over 10 years old which export increasing by 10.2 per cent to 115,300.

Outside of the EU, there has been positive growth in the number of businesses exporting to the US and Australia, rising to 36,000 and 15,000 respectively.

Announcing the figures, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox 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 per cent to 35 per cent.”