LONDON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Almost 15 percent of all businesses in Britain traded internationally in 2017, up in the first full year after the decision in the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union (EU), figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Tuesday.
The survey revealed that non-financial services remained the largest sector trading internationally, accounting for 53.1 percent of the total international traders in Britain. This was followed by the distribution sector, with 31.2 percent of the number of businesses reporting international trade.
ONS said there were more importers than exporters, with estimated numbers of 247,500 and 235,800 respectively. Of the importers, a majority of them imported goods rather than services. For exports, more businesses exported services than goods (146,600 and 115,200 respectively).
England boasts the largest number of businesses trading internationally in Britain, making up 93 percent of the total, while London accounted for 26 percent of the total.
Of all of the businesses trading internationally 98.7 percent were small-and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) employing less than 250 employees,which means 14.2 percent of the total number of SMEs traded internationally in 2017. In comparison, 53.8 percent of large businesses in Britain with 250 or more staff traded internationally. Foreign-owned businesses represented 5 percent of the total number of businesses trading internationally.