Goods exports were valued at £345.9 billion, while the exports in the service sector climbed to £283.4 billion. This continued growth means that exports are outpacing imports, helping to narrow the UK’s trade deficit.
All of this comes against the backdrop of the launch of the government’s Export Strategy in August. In the document, the government set out its ambition for the UK to increase exports as a proportion of GDP to 35 per cent.
Dr Liam Fox, international trade secretary, commented: “As we open consultations for future trade relationships with key markets around the world, we’re seeing the UK shift towards selling more than we buy, with exports increasing faster than imports.”
The country’s ports in particular will be essential in helping to achieve these ambitions. The Express recently highlighted remarks made by Dr Fox at a reception organised by the British Ports Association.
He described the country’s ports as its “gateways to the world”, adding that they have “a brilliant future at the forefront of our global economic ambitions as Britain leaves the European Union”.
Dr Fox also stressed the importance of the UK being able to forge its own international trade policies once it exits the EU next year, while acknowledging that safeguarding trading links with EU partners will also be essential.