Cost Saving by Wayne

The £1trillion 2020 Government Export Target and the General Election

May 2015

With the General Election just 2 days away now, we've compiled the facts behind where the country's at, with regard to the UK's £1trillion 2020 Government Export Target and how different cities and SMEs are currently performing.

George Osborne set out the seemingly ambitious target in 2012; to double British exports within 8 years, as part of a broader goal to rebalance the UK economy towards more manufacturing and exports, and away from debt-fuelled spending.

Britain's biggest trading associates have traditionally been Europe, the US and latterly newer markets, including China. UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) has recognised that further increases in exports to faster-growing, emerging markets would be crucial to achieving the government's aim of doubling the country's exports (10% year-on-year growth).

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed Britain's trade in goods deficit widened to £29.2bn in the three months to November, up from £27.4bn in the three months to August. However, the UK's export market has seen significant progress and growth since the government announced their pledge back in 2012.

Regional SME Exporting Behaviour on a Local Level

The following, highlights the current behaviour of 2,500 SMEs across the UK;

SME Exporting Rates by City (as a %)
  • Bradford = 86
  • Leeds, London, Manchester, Southampton = 81
  • Belfast = 79
  • Oxford = 78
  • Leicester, Birmingham = 77
  • Cambridge = 76
  • Bristol, Derby, Portsmouth, Plymouth = 75
  • Liverpool = 73
  • Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Norwich, Nottingham = 72
  • Milton Keynes = 71
  • Cardiff, Hull = 70
  • Glasgow, Sheffield = 68
  • Coventry = 67
  • Newcastle = 66
SME Exporting Value by City (£s per month)
  • Portsmouth = 162,298
  • Norwich = 94,733
  • Nottingham = 91,258
  • Coventry = 62,111
  • Oxford = 62,002
  • Leeds = 57,096
  • Leicester = 53,543
  • Liverpool = 52,272
  • London = 50,424
  • Manchester = 45,899
Key Benefits of Exporting for SMEs (as a %)
  • "Improved our financial performance" = 63
  • "Helped us to employ more people" = 40
  • "Encouraged us to develop new products and services" = 37
  • "Helped us to compete with larger businesses" = 26
  • "Provided new opportunities for talented staff" = 23
  • "Improved staff morale and retention levels" = 17
  • "Enabled us to open new premises/ operations overseas" = 11

Figures courtesy of FedEx