Britain’s Office for National Statistics, on Friday, released figures the latest figures for balance of payments, which have apparently seen the Brexit-bound Britain experience exports to India grow faster than those to the European Union. The statistics showed exports of UK goods and services rising to a record £620.2 billion.
The Theresa May government sees India as one of the key countries to be targeted for enhancing trade with. They also want to enter into a free trade agreement with the country after making arrangements for taking UK out of the European Union in March 2019. UK wants to do so in order to be able to partly compensate for the economic losses that will follow Britain’s exit from the European market.
The Department for International Trade said the Office’s figures for the year till March 2018 showed exports grow faster to India (31.8%), Canada (12.7%), and China (15.3%) than to the EU (10%). India and other non-EU countries have been the main destination for services exports (£167.4 billion), making up 60.4% of all services exports. The department said 2,072 projects by international investors, including Indians, were recorded during the year. New jobs in the UK from Indian investments increased from 3,999 to 5,659.
Liam Fox, a leading Brexit supporter and Secretary for international trade, said, “Demand for quality British products remained strong from countries outside the EU, including China, India, and Canada and I’m putting companies in position to benefit from the growing global opportunities.”
“Far from the negative forecasts after the EU referendum, there is every reason to be optimistic. Our trade deficit narrowed and UK business is delivering for Britain and succeeding on the world stage, and as an international economic department we are banging the drum for the growing demand for our goods and services.”
The department cited research from Barclays Corporate Banking which states that 64% of consumers in India, 57%in China, and 48% in the UAE, were prepared to pay more for goods produced in UK, for the perceived higher quality.