Doing Business in the UK: What are the Latest Market Trends?

The UK can regularly be found within the top ten countries of the world for both importing and exporting.

Such a large trade industry makes it a great place to start a business or begin trading with those in and outside of the country.


Despite being an island nation with a population just outside the top 20 in the world, the UK also has the fourth and tenth largest economy measured by nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. Its economic strength is down to a number of factors, from historical colonisation to modern innovation.


Excellent import and export routes via air, sea and rail have helped the economy expand by doing deals with businesses all across the world. If you or your company are thinking about importing or exporting to or from the UK then discover more about the country’s major industries below.

Major UK Industries


Agriculture now makes up less than 1% of the UK’s GDP, a drop from 6% at the beginning of the post-war years. Still, nearly half a million British workers are employed in the agriculture industry, with the nation’s climate making it ideal for rearing livestock and harvesting many crops. However, the UK only produces around 60% of the food it consumes, importing plenty of meat, fruit and veg and other products from nearby Europe and further afield.


Banking and Finance

The services industry makes up around 80% of the UK’s GDP and it is the financial services sector that has seen a huge boom in recent years. Out of all the G7 nations, its financial services account for the largest portion of GDP and it has the highest share of financial services exports. London is at the heart of this, though some other major UK cities possess a growing financial services sector too.



The UK has large coal, gas and oil reserves, though as with all fossil fuels, the supplies are dwindling. Many coal mines have shut but with Scotland’s North Sea oil discovery in the past few decades it has provided a boost to revenue. There is a big focus on renewable energy now, with the government implementing energy saving policies.


Around 300,000 people are employed in the UK’s electronics sector, which covers everything from consumer products to power and design electronics. The consumer sector has grown the most in recent years but there are many future opportunities in the power, energy efficient and design electronic sectors.



Even though many of the UK’s shipyards may have closed and the majority of British car manufacturers have been bought out by larger ones abroad, the machine industry is still important to the country. Agricultural equipment to car parts and factory machinery is still produced in the UK, and that which isn’t offers a great importing opportunity.



The textile industry has also reduced in size, with work exported abroad for cheaper, though it still contributed close to £4.5 billion to the UK economy in 2013. More ethical consciousness from consumers could lead to a further increase of UK based businesses in the future.



Tourism in the UK is huge across a lot of the country. London draws in millions of international visitors each year, with everything from historical landmarks to fantastic modern museums, while Scotland, the Lake District and coastal areas attract many in summer. Events like the 2012 Olympic Games and Tour de France in Yorkshire provided further boosts.

The Future of UK Business

The future looks bright for UK business and its economy. The doom and gloom of the recession seems to be slowly lifting and the country has seen thousands of new start-ups appear, many innovative ones making the most of the changing business landscape. Ongoing negotiations with the EU and a predicted referendum look likely to be the most disruptive elements depending on their outcomes.


Many business opportunities already exist in the UK, with the chance to create more through exporting from or importing into the country. Here at TNT we work closely with many other countries and have fast and efficient transport routes for delivery services across the globe, whatever sector you work in.