China a growing export market for the UK

The study revealed China has now displaced EU members Belgium and Luxembourg, as the sixth most-significant export market for the UK.

Exports to Hong Kong are counted separately by the Office for National Statistics and also increased 11 per cent to �6.3bn � meaning that exports to China and Hong Kong were worth over �20bn in 2014, more than France (�18.9bn) and the Republic of Ireland (�18.6bn).

The top five export markets however remain unchanged with the US, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Ireland still the most significant markets, with UK goods totalling �129bn exported in 2014

John Carroll, ?head of international at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: ""International trading continues to be a key, strategic growth strategy for UK businesses as well as all stakeholders in the UK economy.

""It is important that businesses look to explore opportunities around exporting as, managed correctly, it can be hugely beneficial to their long-term growth aspirations.""

Exports to key, fast-developing markets remained significant: �6.1bn to the United Arab Emirates; �5.6bn to South Korea; �4.6bn to India; and �3.8bn to Poland, according to Santander Corporate & Commercial's analysis of the ONS data.

Leeds City Region is looking at how it can unlock economic opportunities and help businesses grow and engage in international trade with China through its China Business Club, and recentlt welcomed a delegation from the CCPIT to the region to explore potential opportunities of collaboration/