• UK exports to China and Hong Kong worth £20 billion in 2014 (ONS data)
• Top 5 export markets for UK: USA, Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, with goods worth £129 billion exported in 2014
• Exports to Germany up 4% year-on-year to £31 billion
UK exports to China grew 12% in 2014 to £13.9 billion, resulting in China displacing Belgium & Luxembourg as the sixth most-significant export market for the UK, according to analysis by Santander Corporate & Commercial of ONS data of UK exports for 2014.
Exports to Hong Kong, counted separately by the ONS, increased 11% to £6.3 billion – meaning that exports to China and Hong Kong were worth a combined £20.1 billion in 2014, more than France (£18.9 billion) or the Republic of Ireland (£18.6 billion).
The US, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Ireland remain top five most significant markets, with UK goods totalling £129 billion exported in 2014, of which £36.9 billion, nearly 13% of all exports, went to the US.
But even though exports to Germany were up 4% year-on-year to £31 billion, overall exports to the top five were down 5.7% from £137 billion in 2013.
John Carroll, Head of International at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “International trading continues to be a key, strategic growth strategy for UK businesses as well as all stakeholders in the UK economy. It is important that businesses look to explore opportunities around exporting as, managed correctly, it can be hugely beneficial to their long-term growth aspirations.”
New markets growing fast
Exports to key, fast-developing markets remained significant: £6.1 billion to the United Arab Emirates; £5.6 billion to South Korea; £4.6 billion to India; and £3.8 billion to Poland, according to Santander Corporate & Commercial’s analysis of the ONS data.
Additionally, four new markets entered the top 50 UK exports list in 2014: Angola, with exports worth £808 million; Pakistan (£619 million); Azerbaijan (£602 million); and Macedonia (£518 million).
To help UK businesses and SMEs to export overseas and find international trading partners and suppliers, Santander has created a suite of International solutions to help businesses achieve their international aspirations.
This includes the award-winning2 Santander Trade Portal – a unique and comprehensive online tool for businesses that can identify where the best importing and exporting opportunities are for their particular products and services.
The Santander Trade Portal also contains a wealth of practical information, such as shipping costs, labelling rules and information on local customs regulations for 171 countries.
Analysis of the Trade Portal, shows that the five most searched for countries in 2014 were: China, the US, Mexico, Canada and Brazil.
John Carroll adds: “The good news is that there is a lot of help and advice available, and we believe the Santander Trade Portal offers a unique insight into global market opportunities.”
Santander Group also operates an International Desk Network to support businesses who are ready to enter new markets. The Desk Network operates in Santander’s 14 core markets, as well as running a desk in Shanghai.
The International Desk team’s local knowledge can help connect businesses with the right people and guide them through unfamiliar and sometimes complex local financial, legislative, and business processes and Santander Group’s stake in Bank of Shanghai means the International Desk is able to better support and facilitate UK businesses when entering the Chinese market.
Santander Corporate & Commercial also offers UK businesses the opportunity to go on Trade Missions to key markets as part of its Breakthrough product suite.
Since the start of 2015, Santander has run Trade Missions to Spain, Poland and Mexico, and currently the application period is open for business interested in going on Trade Missions to the UAE and USA later this year.
- Ends -
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Notes to editors
1 According to Santander analysis of ONS UK trade data, published March 2015
2 ‘Innovation in the SME Finance sector’ at the 2015 Business Moneyfacts Awards – visit www.moneyfactsgroup.co.uk/Awards/Bmf/Winners/2015
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its 1|2|3 products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. As at 31 December 2014, Santander UK was the most switched to bank, attracting 1 in 4 new retail customers. The bank serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 921 branches and 66 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top 12 banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.43 trillion in managed funds, 12,950 branches and 185,400 employees at the close of 2014. In 2014 Santander made an attributable profit of EUR 5,816 million, 39% more than the previous year.
Bijal Tanna 020 7756 4189 Mobile: 07860 259 217
Jonathan Akerman 020 7756 4190 Mobile: 07850 640 770
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