Exports in­crease puts Wales in sec­ond place of UK re­gions

Western Mail - - BUSINESS -

EXPORTS to EU coun­tries from Wales in­creased by nearly £1.3bn or 15.4% over the year while exports to non-EU coun­tries were by up over £1.1bn or 21.2%, lat­est fig­ures show.

Exports to the EU ac­counted for 59.8% of Wales’ to­tal over the year.

Ger­many re­mained the top ex­port des­ti­na­tion for Wales, with 19.4% of exports go­ing there. The ma­chin­ery and trans­port equip­ment sec­tor con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate, ac­count­ing for 53.4% of all Welsh exports.

Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Ken Skates said: “These lat­est fig­ures show an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance from our ex­port­ing com­pa­nies, both within and out­side of the EU, with a growth rate that is sec­ond in the whole of the UK.

“Welsh com­pa­nies are clearly work­ing hard to in­crease their share of the over­seas mar­kets and I con­grat­u­late them on their suc­cess.

“Ex­port­ing really does have the po­ten­tial to trans­form a busi­ness and take it to next level, which is why in­creas­ing the value of exports and the num­ber of ex­porters re­mains a key Welsh Gov­ern­ment pri­or­ity. And this is more im­por­tant than ever as we pre­pare to leave the EU.”

Wales’ in­crease in exports was the sec­ond high­est of all 12 UK coun­tries and English re­gions, com­ing just be­hind Scot­land’s in­crease of 21.1%.

The small­est in­crease of 6.3% was recorded by the North East of Eng­land.

Mr Skates added: “The Welsh Gov­ern­ment pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive and tai­lored pack­age of sup­port for com­pa­nies look­ing to build up the ex­port arm area of their op­er­a­tions, of­fer­ing them the right sup­port for wher­ever they may be in their jour­ney.

“I would urge com­pa­nies keen to ex­plore this op­tion to get in touch with the Welsh Gov­ern­ment for more information on the sup­port avail­able.”

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