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Somewhat surprisingly, the UK has moved past China, France and the US to become Germany’s most important trading partner. British exports to Europe’s largest economy surged 20% in the first nine months of last year in comparison to 2011, a lot of it coming from the pharma, medical equipment, engineering and the automotive industries – as well as financial services. “Although rarely acclaimed, British suppliers and manufacturers are deeply integrated into the German industrial machine and enjoy the follow-through benefits of German exports to the rest of the world,” says The Daily Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

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