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Figures show that exports from Wales grew by 19% last year. Welsh businesses are also looking to markets outside the European Union, where exports grew by 23% over the same period. I will continue to support businesses in Wales to help them make the most of the new opportunities.
In north Wales, like in South East Cornwall, there are amazing businesses that are the lifeblood of the local economy, from first-class tourist accommodation to delicious food and drink producers. Does my right hon. Friend agree that Brexit will provide additional trading opportunities for them and for companies across Wales?
My hon. Friend is a strong champion for Cornwall, and Cornwall is already responding, through her leadership, to the new opportunities that leaving the European Union provides. Wales is rightly doing the same. Exports to areas outside the European Union are growing at a much sharper rate than exports to the European Union, and Wales is well ahead of the UK average.
One of the trading opportunities we already have is at Ford in Bridgend, which is at risk of closure after Jaguar Land Rover’s contract ended early. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy met me at Ford yesterday. What is the Secretary of State for Wales doing to help to secure those jobs for the future?
The hon. Gentleman raises an important point about Ford in Bridgend. I met the unions recently, and I speak to Ford on a regular basis. I am pleased that the Welsh Government responded to Ford’s suggestion that I join their working group. We are determined to work together to come up with the best outcome that delivers long-term, sustainable jobs at the Ford plant in Bridgend.