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A very British love affair: UK exports set hearts alight this Valentines

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Latest figures show record UK exports in flowers, wine and chocolate

Millions of people across the globe will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with the best of British food, film and flowers today.

British chocolate was a highly sought-after good in the world with £668 million-worth sold in the last year – up 9 per cent on 2016.

Flowers, from roses to carnations, also proved popular with exports doubling to £39 million, including a 124 per cent rise to non-EU markets since 2016.

Whether drinking with loved ones or friends, British wine continues to be massive hit, with exports rising to £554 million – an increase of 15 per cent. Hong Kong alone imports £195 million of UK wine.

For those enjoying a night in with a film, classic British rom coms continue to dominate TV screens, as family favorites including Love Actually, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Notting Hill took in a combined £630 million in global sales since they were released.

Television viewers across all continents are being wooed by British television heartthrob Poldark as ITV Studios sold the show to more than 100 countries including Cambodia and Brazil. The figures come as overall UK TV exports increased by 10 per cent to £1.3 billion in 2015/16.

British authors also saw unprecedented demand – author of the award-winning Shopaholic series, Sophie Kinsella, sold 40 million copies of her books in 60 countries and in 40 different languages. 

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead said:

“From flowers, to food and film, this Valentine’s Day, people across the world will enjoy the best of British goods.

“British businesses are boosting romance with their quality products and services. And as an international economic department, we are continuing to sell more to meet growing global demand. Through our Exporting is GREAT campaign, companies can access in depth market guides, live business opportunities and a network of international advisers.”

Total UK exports rose 11.3 per cent by £62 billion to £617 billion comparing 2016 with 2017). The UK’s renowned service sector continued to thrive with exports up 8.7 per cent to £274 billion, increasing the service surplus in the last year.

Figures on the trade of goods (imports and exports) show that trade with non-EU countries grew by 11.6%.

DIT recently launched the Export Strategy review, which will work closely with businesses, and across Whitehall, to explore the barriers to exporting and identify the best ways in which government can help drive and support UK companies to increase exporting activity and unlock high potential opportunities overseas.

Through great.gov.uk, the department also gives UK businesses access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting.




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