West Midlands exports are expected to continue growing, according to a report last year by Ernst & Young. the report described the area as an export “powerhouse”, predicting growth of over 8% between 2012 and 2017.
Apart from automotive, the main areas of export growth are aerospace, health care, energy and advanced manufacturing. Small and medium sized companies are heavily active in providing components and services to all of these sectors.
Modern manufacturers are offering a suite of services to accompany their goods, and maintaining a constant dialogue with customers. The Head of the West Midlands Economic forum said: “The ability to export services is key and it will be a growth area.”
Midlands firms are making highly complex products to detailed briefs, as well as solving the problems their customers have. This is why they have been able to buck the trend, he suggests. “The West Midlands is successful in the hardest export markets, the ones that demand reliability, precision and quality – the markets of the USA, Germany and Japan. Even though the EU has been in recession, the region’s exports to the EU have grown by 11%.”