Export goods from the north now worth a record £9bn

Overseas demand for local goods is now at a record-high of £9 billion

THE north has reported more consecutive years of goods export growth than any other UK nation, new figures show.

The latest HRMC data has revealed that overseas demand for local goods is now at a record-high of £9 billion, increasing by 4.4 per cent in the most recent financial year.

It is the now the fourth consecutive year of goods export growth, a feat that cannot be matched in England, Scotland or Wales.

As well as increased demand for Northern Irish goods, the number of businesses exporting abroad has shot up.

In the first three months of this year 6,098 local businesses exported overseas, 223 more than the same period in 2018. The growth is largely attributed to spiralling demand from Latin America and the Caribbean, where exports shot up by over a quarter (27.8 per cent) last year to a record £115m.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, welcomed the impressive Northern Ireland performance.

“I am delighted that goods exports from Northern Ireland have boasted particularly impressive growth rates over the past financial year, which is a consequence of the outstanding quality of produce and resilience of businesses across the region," he said.

“When local businesses trade internationally, they provide profound economic benefits to the local economy, including more jobs and cheaper goods. By diversifying their markets globally, businesses of all sizes can benefit from increased competitiveness, which encourages greater innovation and prosperity."

“I encourage businesses throughout Northern Ireland to use todays statistics as evidence that despite the global headwinds getting stronger, the world demands British goods at unprecedented levels. My international economic department is keen to work with businesses to ensure their full exporting potential is unlocked," he added.

The creators of Shortcross Gin, Rademon Estate Distillery, is one of the local businesses to enjoy export success in recent years.

Established in 2012 by husband and wife team Fiona and David Boyd Armstrong, the Co Down company is now exporting its gin to markets across the globe, including Australia, Canada, the Middle East and across Europe.

Fiona Boyd-Armstrong said exports are fundamental to the success of the business.

"We are seeing growing demand in the US, Australia, the Middle East and across Europe. If we can break into new international markets, then there's no reason why other Northern Irish businesses can't do the same," she added.

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