International trade worth £9.75bn to Leeds City Region economy, new data reveals
Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has commissioned new research into international trade data at a City Region level for the first time.
The findings show that the City Region’s international trade in 2015 was worth an estimated £9.75bn, 67% of the total value of Yorkshire and the Humber goods exported.
Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) lead chief executive for business, innovation and growth, said: “This research is vital because there is an historic lack of data at a City Region level about the scale of our international trade.
“This provides a snapshot in time demonstrating how important exporting is for our economy and for businesses individually. It also allows us to better target our resources through investigating specific market opportunities and to find out if there is more demand for certain products.”
The report revealed that medicinal and pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals and general industrial machinery and equipment are the top three categories that account for 44% of the city region’s total exports in 2015.
Medicinal and pharmaceutical products are the most important export by value, worth £2.56bn in 2015.
The largest contributors to the value of exports at a district level are Leeds (£4.1bn), Bradford (£1.6bn), Kirklees (£1.3bn) & Wakefield (£1.3bn).
Andrew Wright, chairman of the LEP’s business, innovation and growth panel, commented: “It’s really useful this research has been done; whilst it shows we trade most with North West Europe it also demonstrates the demand and opportunity beyond EU markets.
“In fact, we have 638 major exporting businesses to non-EU markets. Non-EU trade accounts for 21% of our total exports.
“The best way to create the future is to make it, and it is clear that Leeds City Region businesses are doing just that. There is more that can be done, If you would like a conversation about how to take advantage of this, the LEP growth service can help find you straight-forward support to make the most of these opportunities.”
The report has provided an understanding of the drivers behind Leeds City Region’s contribution to national exports.
The latest trade Statistics for the first quarter of 2017 released by HMRC show that in the year to March 2017, the UK export value went up 11% on last year. All English regions saw an increase, including an increase of 7.6% in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The research concludes that markets showing the most potential for Leeds City Region’s strongest selling categories include Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico.