Business trading with Europe has declined according to the government’s latest export figures – but success elsewhere in the world has seen the region’s total leap by 14pc.

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A report from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) this week showed exports from the East of England hit £6.8bn for the first three months of 2012 with exports for the year to March 2012 rising to £27.6bn – an above average increase of 14pc. The UK as a whole saw exports rise 9pc.

However, as the crisis in the eurozone continues, the latest calculations showed exports to European Union countries fell by 3pc.

Liz Basing, regional director for UKTI. said: “These figures show that the East of England continues to put on a great performance. The EU continues to take nearly 60pc of exports from the region and Germany is our number-one destination for goods.

“It is difficult to envisage a time when our European neighbours will not be hugely important to our export business, but it is no surprise to see exports to the wider EU coming under pressure.

“East of England exporters are more than making up the difference by boosting sales to markets with higher growth potential.

“With the global spotlight firmly on the UK in the coming weeks, now is absolutely the right time to explore what less familiar markets have to offer and UKTI is here to help companies do just that.”

The region’s firms had success in sub-Saharan Africa with a leap of 22pc in exports. Exports to the Middle East and north Africa were also up by 9pc and to Latin America and the Caribbean they were up by 8pc.

Mrs Basing said last year’s recovery in exports to North America, including Mexico and the USA – the region’s third biggest export market – looks to be stabilising.

UKTI East will be running trade missions to “vibrant markets” including China, Brazil, Russia, the Gulf, India and Mexico this year.

Closer to home, it is putting on a series of events to make the most of the talents to be featured at the British Business Embassy in Lancaster House, London, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Mrs Basing said: “Companies in healthcare, advanced engineering, ICT, the creative sector and energy are invited to join us for a series of exciting events featuring broadcast content from the embassy and inspirational local speakers.”

For more information about exporting go to or call UKTI East’s international trade team on 0845 641 9955 to find out more about how UKTI can help boost your exports.




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