Category Archives: News

Graham Stuart To Promote UK Trade And Investment In New Zealand

Minister Stuart will give a keynote address at New Zealand’s largest yearly infrastructure conference

Minster Stuart and British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke

Minster Stuart and British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke

UK Investment Minister Graham Stuart is in New Zealand this week to promote UK-New Zealand investment and trade links as the UK prepares to forge its way in the world after it exits the EU.

Minister Stuart will be giving a keynote address at Building Nations, New Zealand’s largest yearly infrastructure conference in Auckland.

Mr Stuart said:

“As we embark on a new era for Global Britain this is an important opportunity to promote the UK overseas. The announcement by Dr Liam Fox of a public consultation on a New Zealand free trade deal was a vital step forward in our relationship as the UK leaves the EU.”

“I’m pleased to be in New Zealand talking about vital contributions which UK infrastructure firms are making to major development projects across New Zealand, from Auckland’s City Rail Link, to redevelopment of the city’s airport and ambitious urban regeneration projects. British companies will quite literally help build New Zealand’s future.”

High Commissioner Laura Clarke said:

“Minister Stuart’s visit comes at an exciting time in New Zealand-UK relations. We are pleased to be welcoming so many high level visitors in such a short space of time. These visits demonstrate that, despite the distance, New Zealand remains a vital relationship for the UK as we negotiate our EU Exit.”

UK exports to New Zealand were worth £1.5 billion in 2017, a 10% increase on the previous year.

Mr Stuart also attended a roundtable of key trade and investment stakeholders hosted by Deloitte.

Lord Mayor Of London Visits Australia

Charles Bowman leads a business delegation to Australia to boost financial and professional sector links

Lord Mayor Bowman

Lord Mayor Bowman

The Lord Mayor of London, an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, is visiting Australia at the head of a business delegation next week with the aim of strengthening trade links with the City of London.

Charles Bowman, the Lord Mayor, will meet government and business leaders, regulators, and trade bodies in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. He will discuss how the City of London can work more closely with Australian companies as they invest for growth domestically and abroad.

Lord Mayor Bowman, the 690th incumbent of a role that dates back centuries, is the leader of London’s ‘Square Mile,’ or financial district. He has plans to visit 27 countries over the course of his year in office. Charles Bowman is an accountant by profession, and is a senior partner at PwC in London.

The Lord Mayor will be visiting Australia at the head of a business delegation of senior figures from industries such as asset management, cyber security, and fintech. The delegation will also include the Prime Minister’s Business Envoy for Financial Services, and entrepreneur Alastair Lukies. A number of the companies represented on the Lord Mayor’s business delegation are making investments in Australia, or are partnering with Australian companies as they expand into the APAC region.

He will also discuss how a potential free trade deal will look with senior Australian politicians, including the Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison MP.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Australia, Lord Mayor Charles Bowman said:

It is a great pleasure to be the first Lord Mayor in more than 3 years to be visiting Australia. I know that my visit will involve a packed and productive schedule, engaging with senior representatives from government, industry, and regulators.

There are many excellent opportunities for British companies to do business in Australia – not least in asset management, infrastructure finance, cyber and fintech – and I look forward to discussing this in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.

I will also be meeting innovative fintech businesses in Sydney and Melbourne to see how the City of London, as a financial centre full of creative energy, can help support their ideas and growth.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, it is more important than ever that we build our links with vibrant and growing markets across the world, and I know the UK’s relationship with Australia will go from strength-to-strength in the years to come.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

The UK and Australia already have a strong economic and cultural relationship – based on our shared histories, language, and open liberal economies.

The Lord Mayor’s visit with a top business delegation, aims to further boost trade and investment ties, while making it easier for the City to work with their partners on the other side of the world.

The Prime Minister’s Business Envoy for Financial Services Alastair Lukies said:

The Lord Mayor’s visit to Australia comes at a time where the UK is rediscovering its place in the world as a great, global trading nation, and I am honoured to be a part of it.

The UK leads the world in financial services, and has also taken decisive, focused action over the past decade to evolve into the world’s leading financial technology hub.

I’m particularly excited to reconnect with innovative and growing fintech businesses in Sydney and Melbourne to continue the various alliances and trading partnership discussions already underway and to speak about why the UK is the perfect location for them to grow their businesses.

The Lord Mayor’s visit will have a strong focus on innovation, and how financial and professional services can support the growth of startups. The Lord Mayor will be touring the Commonwealth Bank Innovation Hub, and Stone and Chalk Fintech Hub in Sydney, as well as the York Butter Factory digital hub in Melbourne.

These visits will be balanced by meetings with established institutional investors, events with business representative bodies such as the Australian British Chamber of Commerce and Australian Bankers Association, and a number of events focused on Green Finance.

The Lord Mayor will be tweeting from @CityLordMayor during his visit.

Contact Annie Galea, Head of Communications, British Consulate General, Sydney for more information on the Lord Mayor and his visit on +61 (0) 407 190 867 or annie.galea@mobile.trade.gov.uk

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the ‘Square Mile’. In addition, the City Corporation has 3 roles which include:

  • supporting London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London
  • helping to look after important London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London
  • supporting and promoting the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach
About the Lord Mayor of the City of London

The Lord Mayor:

  • is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. It’s an exceptionally demanding role. The Lord Mayor spends some 90 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year).
  • represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City; and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister.
  • meets several international heads of government and business each month to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.

See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.

Secretary Of State For International Trade Speech At The GREAT Event In Sydney

On Tuesday 28 November the Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox delivered a keynote speech at the GREAT event in Sydney, Australia

Dr Liam Fox

Dr Liam Fox

Good Evening.

It is a pleasure to be here this evening at the GREAT event, alongside our friends in the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.

Every time I arrive in Australia, I am struck again by how much it feels like home.

This may sound strange to those of you who have experienced both countries. After all, how could the land of golden beaches, 40 degree heat in November, and 7 foot tall marsupials ever feel like home to a Scotsman with a constituency in Somerset that looks across the Bristol Channel to Wales?

So I am, obviously not, talking not about the physical similarity of our 2 nations, but the far deeper connections of culture, language, values and, of course, commerce.

These connections have grown from deep historical roots. Many Australians boast British surnames, and many more have British ancestry somewhere within their family tree, perhaps within living memory.

The windows of my departmental office in Whitehall overlook the Cenotaph, the foremost war memorial in the United Kingdom.

Every 25th of April, ANZAC Day, I can watch as soldiers from Australia and New Zealand gather to pay their respects to their forebears who fell fighting alongside their British comrades and cousins.

They gave their lives defending the freedom of a land that may have been many thousands of miles from home, but a freedom nonetheless preciously cherished – a global commodity worth defending wherever it is threatened. Such is how unbreakable bonds are forged.

In the years since those conflicts Australia has forged its own proud national identity, distinct from the United Kingdom. But the deep personal connections that bind our 2 nations have remained, indelible through the passage of time, and oblivious to distance.

Today, an estimated 125,000 Australians call Britain home. In turn, over 1.2 million British citizens are currently resident here – more than 5% of the whole Australian population.

It is safe to say that few countries share such a deep, profound, and lasting connection as Australia and the United Kingdom.

It is a partnership that I believe will become more vibrant, more effective, and more important in the future.

Following last year’s referendum result, there were many in the media, both in the UK and internationally, who condemned our democratic decision as the ultimate act of insularity.

Some of them still do, unable to come to terms with the expressed will of the British people.

They confidently predicted that the UK would be left a diminished figure on the world stage; alone, friendless and isolated, with a broken economy and shattered prospects.

How wrong they have been.

They not only misunderstood the fundamental motivations behind the ‘Leave’ vote, but also the intrinsic strengths of the UK economy.

We are about to enter our 6th year of growth – far behind Australia’s record 26 years, but impressive none the less, steadily recovering from the effects of the financial crash.

Our financial deficit has been cut by two-thirds. We have record employment levels and have just seen our exports increase by over 13% in the last year. This year will see our national debt fall as a proportion of GDP.

The year since the referendum has seen the highest levels of inward investment of any year in British history.

We not only have a business-friendly regulatory environment, but a trusted legal system, the world’s leading financial sector, a highly skilled workforce turned out by world-class universities and cutting-edge research institutions.

Like you, we speak English, and we are in the right time zone to trade with Asia in the morning and America in the afternoon.

We are members of the G7 and the G20.

Alongside Australia, we are part of Five Eyes, the world’s most advanced and integrated intelligence alliance.

We have the world’s third-largest defence budget and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Need I go on?

Does any of this sound to you like an isolated country?

This is not Brexit, but the emergence of Global Britain.

Our decision to leave the European Union will change none of our underlying strengths. But we will have the opportunity to use them to build new, more open horizons.

We also share something else in common. We are both members of the Commonwealth of Nations – an organisation of cooperation and friendship whose members stretch across the globe, covering 2.3 billion people and 30% of the world’s population, all of them ready to use the ties of the past to meet the challenges of the future.

The Commonwealth, though, is different to other multinational organisations. The bonds of history, friendship and family have produced on organisation that revels in its social and cultural ties, as much as its political and economic ones.

For example, I cannot mention the Commonwealth without reflecting on one of those cultural ties – our sporting tradition.

The GREAT Campaign is working to shine a light on the UK-Australia sporting relationship – a robust, passionate but friendly rivalry – mostly!

The GREAT Campaign not only celebrates our long shared history, but also promotes all the trade opportunities that it has generated, from tourism to sports science to stadium infrastructure.

With the Ashes will under way, and the Women’s series finishing in a diplomatically convenient draw, there is no better time to celebrate our sporting connections.

And I’m very much looking forward to Australia and England fighting it out for the Rugby League World cup this coming week in Melbourne.

You have been greeted this evening by another sport, as one of the Clipper practice yachts sails in front of this wonderful venue. We’re delighted that Clipper Ventures is also supporting the training of veterans in preparation for sailing to be incorporated in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

GREAT Britain has a team entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and will be in Sydney next month as part of its global race circuit.

And next year’s Commonwealth Games, held on the Gold Coast, are an opportunity to further reinforce these strong and enduring bonds between our nations.

After Britain leaves the European Union, we will be able to strengthen these friendships even further, looking forward to our shared opportunities.

Foremost among our Commonwealth friends is Australia. For many, not least in the business and agricultural sectors, Britain’s accession to the EEC in 1973 marked something of a hard break, as barriers to trade were established where none had previously existed.

How did Australia react to this change? Not by retreating, but by forging a new trading role for itself, connecting to new markets in Asia and North America, and casting itself as the economic link between east and west.

And all with a courage and optimism that some people in the UK would do well to understand and emulate.

We have much to learn from your approach. I am here in Sydney because Britain wants to forge a new relationship with Australia, and use our historical legacy to build a partnership for the 21st century.

We announce today that, as part of that commitment, HMS Sutherland will be visiting Australia in the New Year as part of her Asia Pacific deployment. It is a physical symbol of our strategic partnership in security.

Commercially, we are also starting from a position of great strength.

The Australian British Chamber of Commerce have played a notable role in this success. For over a century, they have identified and supported opportunities for bilateral trade between Australia and the United Kingdom.

In that time, they have seen a vast number of economic shifts, not only in our bilateral relationship, but globally. Globalisation and new technology have diminished the barriers of distance and time. A journey from London to Perth, which took 48 days in 1887, will from next year take just 17 hours, as non-stop flights begin operating between the two cities.

Today, Australia is a larger export market for UK companies than India or Canada.

This global interconnectedness has hailed a wave of investment in each other’s economies, disproportionately important to one another given the respective size of our markets.

The UK is the second-largest investor in Australia, and in turn the second-largest destination for Australian investment, after the United States in both cases.

There is a strong mobilisation of institutional investment funds into major projects in each other’s countries. In one notable example, the Australian Super pension fund has invested £1 billion into the Kings Cross development project in London, one of the most significant regenerations in Europe.

The area has been transformed, and not only comprises housing and businesses, but also Google’s new UK Headquarters, and the Crick Institute for Biomedical Research.

This means that the savings of ordinary Australians are creating jobs, housing and growth in the United Kingdom, an indicator of our shared economic destiny.

Similarly, the UK-owned Liberty House Group recently acquired the Arrium Steelworks in Whyalla, bringing it back from the brink of collapse and saving over 5,500 Australian jobs in the process.

Our common story is one of open, successful mutual investment, with companies like BP, Macquarie Bank, and Westfield becoming household names in each other’s countries.

And yet, despite such obvious success stories, there remains a vast amount of untapped potential between Australia and the United Kingdom.

If we are to strengthen our relationship, and build a prosperous future, then we must expand those industries that will be the foundations of future growth.

The UK’s world-leading digital, infrastructure, and financial services industries will be the partners for growth, driving future economic integration and helping to realise many of Australia’s most ambitious projects, from Smart Cities to the Melbourne Metro.

The digital sector, though it may present a logistical challenge for trade legislators, is one of the most exciting areas of growth between our 2 countries.

The United Kingdom is globally recognised for the strength of its technology sector.

As the technology Capital of Europe, we are a hub of research and innovation. Since 2011, the UK tech sector has attracted more investment than Germany, France and the Netherlands put together.

Currently, the UK provides around 10% of Australia’s technology imports, yet more and more UK tech companies are looking to expand into the Australian market, or tap into your own pool of expertise.

My department is already supporting BT with the launch of their first cybersecurity R&D facility outside the UK, here in Sydney.

And early next year, Innovate UK will lead a Smart Cities trade delegation to Australia, followed up by a DIT mega-tech mission in 2018.

This, of course, is only one industry. But when you combine its potential with that of other industries, such as the £60 billion Australian Infrastructure Pipeline, or the MOU signed last year to facilitate a comprehensive financial technology bridge, then you can begin to see the range and scale of the opportunities we share.

Success, of course, will only come when we are willing to boldly meet the challenges of the future.

Services, for example, represent over 50% of the value of UK exports to Australia, and must be a priority for liberalisation.

We must work together to see the revitalisation of ambitious projects such as the Trade in Services Agreement, currently becalmed in Geneva.

If Britain and Australia are to work together to champion free and open world trade, then we must lead by example, removing barriers and facilitating bilateral and multilateral trade.

Britain’s ambitions, once we leave the EU, for a comprehensive free trade agreement with Australia are well known.

We will have the opportunity to design an agreement that can be a global blueprint for the future, encompassing cutting-edge industries, and showcasing the benefits of unimpeded bilateral trade to the wider world.

Following last year’s referendum, the Prime Minister created my Department for International Trade to make Britain a global defender of commercial freedoms, and to work with old friends and new allies across the world to realise our post-Brexit economic potential.

I am proud that Australia was the first country in the world with which we established a trade working group, laying the ground work for that future FTA.

Such an agreement can, of course, only come into effect once we have left the EU.

We want an open, liberal, and comprehensive trade agreement with the EU, in the mutual interest and for the prosperity of our people. We need an economic Brexit designed for the people of Europe, not a political Brexit designed for the Bureaucrats.

I am confident that such an agreement can be reached.

Throughout the process, my department and the whole of the British Government will work to ensure maximum continuity and stability for companies operating in the UK, ensuring that trade and investment continues unhindered.

Yet I am here in Sydney because the UK’s economic future lies beyond the borders of Europe, with countries like Australia who should be, and will be, our natural trading partners.

Last year’s referendum result was not a vote for insularity, but for ambition – an acknowledgement by the British people that our destiny lay not within Europe, but with the wider world.

The government was elected in June this year on an unashamedly free-trade mandate, and my Department for International Trade is delivering on that promise.

This not only means trade working groups and FTA planning with countries like Australia, but implementing clear manifesto promises, such as the creation of a global network of HM Trade Commissioners.

The 9 HM Trade Commissioners will each oversee an area of the world, providing regional expertise and greater responsibility, and accountability, for boosting Britain’s overseas trading relationships.

Since DIT’s creation in July 2016, I and my ministerial team have conducted almost 130 overseas visits, to markets across the globe.

What has struck me most firmly is the sheer anticipation that is felt in many quarters for Britain’s re-emergence as an unambiguously free-trading nation – fully committed to a global, rules-based system.

Commercial freedoms cannot be taken for granted.

Today, the global trading system that has brought wealth and prosperity to our advanced economies is under threat, as a slowdown in international trade is compounded by a rising tide of protectionist practices.

As the WTO has highlighted, the nations of the G20 are some of the worst culprits, silting up the global system with an abundance of non-tariff barriers.

If the benefits of free trade are to spread to a new generation, and bring prosperity to the poorest regions of the world, then the UK and Australia must be unafraid to defend, and extend, trading freedoms.

I spoke earlier about how the UK has much to learn from Australia, and from our Commonwealth cousins.

For the first time in more than 4 decades, the UK will soon have a fully independent trade policy.

DIT is recruiting the right individuals, and already boasts a vast pool of talent, yet in Australia we have a friend and ally that has successfully negotiated FTAs from the US to Singapore.

As we look to the future, I hope to see our 2 nations forming a strong and united front in defence of free trade.

Whether it is in Buenos Aires, at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference, in Davos at the World Economic Forum, or at the G20 summit, the UK and Australia must work together to uphold and defend our hard-won commercial freedoms.

For all the long history that our 2 countries share, it is how we meet the challenges of the future that will define our friendship.

We have the means, we have the values, and we have the expertise – all we need is the will, and we can secure a brighter, more prosperous future for Britain, Australia, and the world.

Thank you.

Find out more about the Secretary of State’s visit to Australia.

UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox Travels To Australia To Strengthen Bilateral Trade

The UK's Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, will arrive in Australia on Tuesday 28 November to promote UK-Australia Trade and Investment

Dr Liam Fox

Dr Liam Fox

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, will arrive in Australia tomorrow (Tuesday 28 Nov) to advance the UK’s trade and investment relationship.

Dr Fox will meet Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo, to discuss future bilateral trading relationships, and how to boost current trade and investment ties.

Trade in goods and services between the UK and Australia was worth £13.1bn (approx. A$23bn) in 2016. UK exports to Australia increased by 3% to £8.6bn (approx. A$15bn) in 2016 and Australia invested in 108 projects in the UK last year 11% more than the previous year, creating over 1,750 British jobs.

The Department for International Trade’s analysis of IMF data predicts that ninety per cent of world growth in the coming years will come from outside the EU, and the Government is taking steps to put British businesses in a position to benefit from this trend, while taking a fresh look at our global trading relationships.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

The UK and Australia already have a strong economic and cultural relationship – based on our shared histories, language, and open liberal economies. This visit highlights the commitment on all sides for this friendship to continue as our countries develop.

Together with my colleagues from Australia I look forward laying the groundwork for >potential free trade deals, and looking at practical steps we can take now to boost trade >and investment ties, while making it easier for our businesses to work with their partners on >the other side of the world.

As part of the three day visit, Dr Fox will also meet trade policy organisations, business associations and British businesses. This will include BAE Systems, where Dr Fox will support the Global Combat Ship Australia bid offering the most advanced warship to Australia, with the potential to create and sustain 5,000 jobs in Australia. Dr Fox will also deliver a keynote speech at a business event by Sydney Harbour on opportunities for bilateral trade and investments.

Also attending the visit will be the Government’s Chief Trade Negotiations Adviser Crawford Falconer, who joined the Department for International Trade in June with more than 25 years of public service experience in trade and foreign affairs.

While visiting Australia, Dr Fox will be promoting the GREAT Britain campaign – the Government’s international marketing campaign which showcases the best of what nation has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.

The campaign has already secured economic returns of £2.7bn for the UK and is active in more than 144 countries worldwide, including Australia.

Notes:

  • Source: DIT estimate drawing on IMFs September 2017 WEO data, based on GDP measured using purchasing power parities (PPPs)
  • In September 2016 the UK announced a joint Trade Working Group with Australia to boost trade and investment ties and to discuss the future trade and investment relationship and pave the way for considering an ambitious FTA post-Brexit. Lord Price and Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo opened the first meeting in Canberra in November 2016.
  • The UK welcomes the progress on the EU’s draft mandates for FTA negotiations with Australia, and looks forward to negotiations commencing as soon as possible thereafter.

Australia-India-Japan-U.S. Consultations On The Indo-Pacific

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

Department of State officials met with senior officials from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 12, 2017 in Manila to discuss their shared vision for increased prosperity and security in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The officials examined ways to achieve common goals and address common challenges in the region, such as: upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and overflight, respect for international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes; increasing connectivity consistent with international law and standards, based on prudent financing; coordinating on counterterrorism and maritime security efforts in the Indo-Pacific; and further cooperating to curtail the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs and unlawful acts. The quadrilateral partners committed to deepening cooperation, which rests on a foundation of shared democratic values and principles, and to continue discussions to further strengthen the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.