International trade is now the biggest sector of the UK economy, according to a new study by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The report, which was released ahead of a meeting of the country’s economic and business chiefs, shows that the UK is now one of the top four destinations for foreign investment.
The sector is now worth around £14bn to the economy and is predicted to grow by more than 7% in the next decade, according the BCC.
The biggest players in this market are the US, China and India, who each account for £8.8bn of the total.
In the UK, there are two main trading partners, the US and China.
US-based companies have been moving more and more of their investments into the UK to take advantage of the rising popularity of the internet, and British firms have also been getting involved in some deals.
According to the report, British companies are the third biggest in the world when it comes to overseas investment after Germany and France, but the US is still the biggest market for British firms.
Britain has a growing appetite for overseas trade and is also in the process of diversifying its economy, as companies such as Uber, Amazon, Amazon Prime and Netflix, which have expanded overseas, have helped boost the British economy.
British companies have also increased the number of overseas employees they employ in the UK over the last year, and the BCC expects the number to grow at a rate of around 1.2 million people in the coming years.
“Our study shows that UK firms are now a major international investor in the United States and China, and are also increasing the number and number of their UK employees abroad,” said Stephen Mavrodi, CEO of the BCC and chairman of the trade body.
“As a result, we expect the number [of UK employees] to rise from around 1 million in the last 12 months to over 2 million by 2025.”
The BCC believes this is a sign that UK businesses and the UK as a whole are becoming a global leader in globalisation, and a leader in trade and investment.”
In total, the BCC estimates that the world’s biggest market will see an increase of 1.4 million UK workers by 2025, compared to the 1.1 million UK employees it expects in 2020.
More: The report is based on data collected from more than 2,000 UK companies between January and March of this year, covering both domestic and international businesses.
It shows that firms from the US to China are more likely to move their operations to the UK than to other countries.
The BCC said the US was by far the biggest investor in British business, followed by China.
Chinese companies have become the largest exporter of British goods, with China becoming the UK’s largest export market by volume in the first half of 2020.