Tag Archives: Trade

International Trade Minister Holds UK-Qatar Talks To Strengthen Trade

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, and Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, aim to strengthen trade ties

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, and Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, met to explore opportunities to strengthen and build on bilateral trade ties

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, and Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, met to explore opportunities to strengthen and build on bilateral trade ties

This week, International Trade Minister, Greg Hands, met with Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al Thani, for the inaugural Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) between the 2 countries.

Today’s talks explored opportunities to strengthen and build on bilateral trade ties. It follows a commitment made by the Qatari Prime Minister in March to invest an additional £5bn across the UK over the next 3 to 5 years. The talks concluded with both sides signing a statement outlining their mutual commitment to support small businesses in both countries and improve access to trade financing to help exporters.

Trade between the UK and Qatar was worth more than £5bn in 2016, with machinery, mechanical parts and precious stones and metals among the most popular UK goods exports to Qatar.

International Trade Minister Greg Hands said:

I am delighted to be meeting with my Qatari counterparts today as we look to strengthen our trade and investment relationship, identifying opportunities for growth and breaking down barriers to trade between our nations.

As an international economic department, we are committed to building a long and fruitful trading partnership with Qatar over the coming months and years.

During the talks, the Ministers also met UK companies working in Qatar and looked at ways to overcome market access barriers, while fresh dialogues on education and technology will create significant opportunities for important UK industries.

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Qatar totalled £5.2 billion in 2016.

This was the first meeting of the UK-Qatar JETCO, which will meet every year to advance the trade and investment relationship.

ENDS

International Trade Secretary Confident “Best Days Of Global Trade Lie Ahead Of Us”

Dr Liam Fox today hailed the ‘immediate and tangible’ benefits of free trade, as he celebrated 200 years of Ricardo’s comparative advantage theory

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox today hailed the ‘immediate and tangible’ benefits that will arise as the UK works to establish itself as a global champion of free trade.

Addressing academics, policy makers and business representatives at the launch of the Department for International Trade sponsored e-book ‘Cloth for Wine? The relevance of Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage in the 21st Century’ he asserted his confidence that the best days of global trade lie ahead.

The publication produced by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and sponsored by DIT is a collection of essays marking the 200th anniversary of David Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage.

Using the simple example of trading English cloth for Portuguese wine, Ricardo explained how all actors, at all times, can mutually benefit from commercial cooperation and voluntary trade. Whilst a radical idea at the time, this insight generated the basis for international trade today.

Outlining his ambition to make the UK the world’s foremost champion of free trade, Dr Fox explained how 200 years on, Ricardo’s transformative insight still holds true for the modern global economy and will remain crucial to securing future UK prosperity and growth.

In his speech, Dr Fox said:

As an international economic department, our ambition is to make the UK the world’s foremost champion of free trade, upholding those principles developed by David Ricardo, Adam Smith and others, to generate wealth and spread prosperity across the globe.

By realising this ambition, the benefits to this country will be immediate and tangible. The best days of global trade lie ahead of us.

Opening a series of panels with participants from the OECDTUC and leading universities on comparative advantage and trade in the 21st century, Dr Fox highlighted the vital role collaboration will play in developing a successful future trade policy, and the importance of drawing upon expertise and experience from across government, industry and academia.

The DIT and CEPR e-book fields contributions from prominent trade academics across the globe such as former President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, and Penn State distinguished professor of economics Jonathan Eaton, and examines Ricardo’s theory through a contemporary lens, including its relevance for digital trade, the growth of trade in services, and the impact of automation on the labour force.

CEPR Fellow, Chad Bown said:

The current policy climate demands a more reasoned discourse around the topic of globalisation. This volume brings together a tight-knit and yet sophisticated analysis that shows off the fundamental principles of comparative advantage as well as the nuance of its implications for policy today.

Trade Policy Minister Sets Out Future UK-Africa Trading Relationship

Minister for Trade Policy, Greg Hands, has set out his vision for a positive UK-Africa trading relationship

Flight Paths

Flight Paths

Speaking to the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting on Wednesday 5 December, Mr Hands said the government wants a thriving trade relationship with Africa that benefits all. He also outlined what the Trade Bill and the Taxation Bill mean for the UK’s future trade with the continent.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Africa totalled £28.7 billion in 2016, and the government places tremendous importance on strengthening our economic ties with the continent. No country has achieved long term growth, stability and poverty reduction without embracing trade and in turn, these economies represent our trading partners of the future.

Minister for Trade Policy, Greg Hands, said:

The UK enjoys strong trading relationships with many developing countries including in Africa and I am a strong believer that free and fair trade has been the greatest liberator of the world’s poor.

We must build new economic relationships that are mutually beneficial to both the UK and, crucially, to developing countries and their citizens. As we leave the EU, we will build and strengthen ties between British and African businesses and help turn the UK into Africa’s trading partner of choice.

The potential is exciting and we must endeavour to make it happen.

The UK imported £12.7 billion in goods and services from Africa in 2016. As a leading voice in support of free trade as a tool for economic development, the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill was introduced last month and will enable the UK to put in place a trade preferences scheme for developing countries as we leave the EU. This will, as a minimum, provide the same level of access as the current EU trade preference scheme and will maintain tariff free access for the world’s least developed countries and continue to offer generous tariff reductions to around 25 other developing countries.

We have also introduced the Trade Bill, which will allow us to replicate the effects of the ‘Economic Partnership Arrangements’ – development focused trade deals with Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries which will minimise disruption to current trading arrangements.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is going further still with a renewed focus on outward direct investment into Africa, and is significantly increasing UK export finance to encourage businesses to take full advantage of the investment opportunities in these growing markets.

Most recently, International Trade Secretary – Dr Liam Fox – visited Uganda and Ethiopia with a business delegation to explore new opportunities for trade and investment in these markets. Whilst on the visit he confirmed the completion of the largest ever loan of £215m to an African government by the UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, for the construction of a new international airport in Uganda which will create over 800 local jobs.

Further information

  • On 24 June, the Department of International Trade and the Department of International Development pledged to help the world’s poorest countriesaccess UK markets once we leave the EU.
  • As set out in the Trade White Paper, the UK remains committed to ensuring developing countries can reduce poverty through trading opportunities. The Department for International Trade and the Department for International Development are working together to ensure development and global prosperity are at the heart of UK trade and investment policy.
  • We have introduced legislation that will put in place the necessary legal powers and structures to enable us to operate a fully functioning trade policy after we leave the EU. This will ensure the UK is ready for exit, providing continuity for individuals, businesses, and international trading partners.
  • The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill will enable the UK to put in place a UK trade preferences scheme for developing countries as we leave the EU. This will, as a minimum, provide the same level of access as the current EU trade preference scheme.
  • The UK’s largest Export partners in Africa were South Africa (£4.3 billion), Nigeria (£2.1 billion), Egypt (£2.0 billion), Morocco (£1.0 billion), Ghana (£1.0 billion), Angola (£706 million) and Kenya (£611million).
  • The UK’s largest import partners were South Africa (£4.4 billion), Morocco (£1.6 billion), Nigeria (£1.2 billion), Egypt (£990 million), Algeria (£789 million), Kenya (£490 million) and Angola (£417 million).