In response to the recently published regional trade statistics (released on Thursday 07 March), Victoria Sutherland, Senior Economist at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The latest figures show the value of exports from the North East region, including Tees Valley, is increasing, which is positive news for the region’s economy.
“Businesses in the North East exported £13.2 billion of goods in 2018. This is equivalent to almost £8,000 per working age person, the third highest rate in England.
“The value of exports has grown by 2% over the last year and 10% over the last two years. Almost 4,300 businesses in the region exported goods in 2018, 2% more than in 2016.
“In terms of value, 60% of North East goods exported went to the EU, the joint highest proportion among English regions. Over the past two years, the value of exports from the region to markets outside of the EU has increased by 12%. The combined value of North East exports to five non-EU countries (Norway, the USA, Australia, Japan and Turkey) increased by almost £0.5 billion.
“The statistics also provide data on goods imported into the North East. In 2018, £14 billion of goods were imported, with many of these used in our manufacturing sector. Continuing to ensure North East businesses are able to access International markets and goods is important going forward.”
Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP said: “The increase in value of exports to markets outside the EU from the North East is positive news, especially as we continue to negotiate our exit from the European Union.
“It’s also very encouraging to see the number of business exporting in the region has increased since 2016. This signals ambition to scale up and grow, which is exactly what we need to see if we want to strengthen our economy and create more and better jobs.
“The North East LEP and its partners will continue to support businesses in the region to develop and grow their international connections through resources like the North East Growth Hub, with its dedicated Export Toolkit.”