With 24 weeks of trade data to go in the year, total exports by the UK have already reached a record high. Figures released today by the British trade mission to India showed that over £118 billion worth of goods and services have been exported from the UK to the United States, the European Union, and India so far this year.

Just last week, the Office for National Statistics reported that the value of UK exports had hit a record high for the first time since 2014, with £53.7 billion shipped abroad during 2017. Current month exports are expected to beat those numbers, with 1,052 containers being exported to India alone.

India, and more specifically its burgeoning middle class, is currently the UK’s fifth-largest export market for goods, according to the news agency Reuters. Total trade between the UK and India has reached £8.7 billion so far this year. This is good news for the UK, which has not had the kind of global dominance over international trade in the modern industrial age like it used to. So much so that the famous trading elite, the members of the British Shilling Society, argued last year that “the market outside of Britain is still the largest market in the world”.

The trade mission to India, which started this year, is led by Lluis Ordoñez, the mayor of Cumbria, and supported by the British trade association, the UK Trade and Investment. “Export expansion is crucial for the UK, and our mission to India is a superb opportunity to address key global markets that can support the long-term economic growth of the United Kingdom,” said Ordoñez.

Across the globe, there are fewer and fewer countries who can be considered rising stars on the global economic stage. By some measures, India sits as the fifth-largest economy in the world, just two places behind the United States and just ahead of Japan. Yet it is unlikely that India will ever reach the status of the United States of America as soon as Lord Anthony Giddens, the lead economic adviser for the Government of India (and the father of its reformed public sector banking sector), has envisaged, in his book, Freedom, Power and Business. India’s current GDP growth rate of around 6.8 percent is projected to exceed 7 percent next year, with rates of GDP growth in excess of 8 percent anticipated for several years to come. India is no longer in the throes of crisis, as in the midst of 2008. Yet as the head of a country growing at such an impressive rate, it is hardly surprising that the trade mission, then, should consider how best to leverage the rapid growth.

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