The UK has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the world’s fourth-largest exporter, according to recent trade figures.

It comes as trade barriers estimated to be worth over £15 billion to UK businesses over a five-year period have been removed thanks to Brexit making it easier to export goods and services.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development confirmed this shift, with the UK overtaking countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Japan. The UK is now only trailing China, the US, and Germany in export volume. This achievement is primarily attributed to a surge in UK services exports, marking a notable improvement from its seventh-place ranking in 2021.

Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary, welcomed the news, emphasising the UK’s prowess in global trade and its trajectory towards the ambitious goal of exporting a trillion pounds of goods and services annually by 2030.

Badenoch highlighted the growing demand for high-quality UK products and reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting businesses, fostering job creation, raising wages, and bolstering economic growth.

Ms Badenoch said:

“These new figures show how the UK is punching above its weight on trade, and is on track to reach our ambition of exporting a trillion pounds of goods and services a year by 2030.

“The appetite for world-class UK produce continues to grow and this Government will keep supporting our brilliant businesses, helping to create more jobs, pay higher wages and grow the economy.”

Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade – Kemi Badenoch MP. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The recent growth in exports is largely attributed to the strength of UK services, which reached a record high of £470 billion last year. Key drivers of this growth include professional services, travel services, and telecommunications, computer, and information services.

While negotiations for trade agreements, including with India, have been delayed until later this year, the UK has struck more than 70 free trade agreements since leaving the EU and recently signed a trade pact with Texas, the second-largest US state and the world’s eighth-largest economy.

Texas has the second largest US state economy, with a GDP of £1.9 trillion in 2022 – larger than Italy and Canada, making this the UK’s most economically significant trade pact with a US state to date. 

These developments signify the UK’s commitment to expanding its global trade partnerships and solidifying its position as a leading exporter on the world stage.


Photo: UK GOV. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

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