Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a strong improvement in the UK’s balance of trade in the final month of of the business group’s “Exporting is Good for Suffolk” campaign.

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that the deficit narrowed to around £1billion in December, compared with £3.6bn in November.

A deficit of £7.7bn in trade on goods was offset by a surplus of £6.7bn on services, with the figures benefiting both from a 2.1% increase in exports and a 3.8% decline in imports.

David Redhead, chairman of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk International Trade Group, said: “The large fall in the trade deficit is very encouraging; it shows that the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of companies across Suffolk and the UK are increasing exports.

“The goods deficit with countries outside the EU has narrowed in each of the last six months, and exports to these countries are also growing.

“Our campaign for 2013 was ‘Exporting is Good for Suffolk’, which received personal endorsement from the Prime Minister. As part of the campaign we supported firms in making the most of exporting opportunities and to win more business overseas,” said Mr Redhead.

“There is no doubt that Suffolk can be proud of its ports and logistics, which drive the local economy and that of UK plc forward. If you are a company looking to grow sales, create extra jobs and increase profits then exporting is the way forward.”

Suffolk Chamber’s “Exporting is Good for Suffolk” campaign ran throughout 2013 and involved a number of events at which successful exporters based in the county shared their experiences and encouraged other local firms to start exporting for the first time or to target additional export markets.

Besides the endorsement of the campaign by Prime Minister David Cameron, Lord Green, then the Government’s International Trade Minister, also attended one of the chamber’s events

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