UK says exports to India growing faster than to EU
Brexit-bound Britain has seen exports to India grow faster than those to the European Union, based on the latest balance of payments statistics released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday, which showed exports of UK goods and services rising to a record £620.2 billion.
India is among key countries the Theresa May government is keen to enhance trade with and enter into a free trade agreement after taking the UK out of the European bloc on March 29, 2019, in order to partly compensate for the economic losses that will follow the exit from the European Single Market.
The Department for International Trade said the ONS figures for the year to March 2018 showed exports grew faster to India (31.8%), Canada (12.7%) and China (15.3%) than to the EU (10%). India and non-EU countries were the main destination for services exports (£167.4 billion), making up 60.4% of all services exports.
The department said 2,072 projects by international investors, including Indians, were recorded during the year. New jobs in the UK from Indian investments increased from 3,999 to 5,659.
Liam Fox, a leading Brexiteer and secretary for international trade, said: “Demand for quality British products remained strong from countries outside the EU, including China, India and Canada and I’m putting companies in position to benefit from the growing global opportunities.
“Far from the negative forecasts after the EU referendum, there is every reason to be optimistic. Our trade deficit narrowed and UK business is delivering for Britain and succeeding on the world stage, and as an international economic department we are banging the drum for the growing demand for our goods and services.”
The department cited research from Barclays Corporate Banking that 64% of consumers in India, 57% in China, and 48% in the UAE were prepared to pay more for goods made in the UK, because they perceive the quality as higher.