India Trans-Pacific top UK trade agenda

The UK government has put deals with India and the 11-nation CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) at the top of its trade agenda this year, a global conference of financial services chiefs has been told.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street | 30/03/2022. London, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Boris Johnson alongside Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary for International Trade host an Australia Investment Announcement Roundtable in 10 Downing Street.

Addressing the 'City Week' conference in London, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that, since Brexit, the government had "been opening doors for our financial services businesses across the globe".She cited trade deals already struck with Japan and Australia, and the fact that the UK was the first European nation to sign a Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore, "uniting two financial services powerhouses".Ms Trevelyan added, "And we’re really just getting started. You have my word - we will do everything in our power to help you to satisfy the global demand for your excellence. Because hidden obstacles, protectionism, and antiquated rules are preventing our innovators from conquering new markets."So that’s why we are continuing on our mission to strike a series of advanced, high-standard agreements with leading nations across the world."

International Trade Secretary says UK should join CPTPP this year

The minister said the UK was on course to accede to the CPTPP this year - a free trade bloc comprising Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. She said the partnership’s modern rulebook unlocked trusted cross-border data flows and swept away local restrictions standing in the way of services exports."The CPTPP is a baseline agreement, so we can break even more ground in deals with its members. Just as we are with Canada. Last month, I travelled to Ottawa to launch negotiations on a trade agreement that’s going to go much further than ever before in innovation, digital, and data," Ms Trevelyan said.
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UK trade deal with India - could be completed by end of 2022

Turning to India, she said the two nations were on course to seal "a really impactful" free trade agreement - something the prime ministers of both countries agreed last week could be completed by the end of the year.Ms Trevelyan said, "We’re seeing some really radical, different and open views there that we want to harness and we want to work alongside India to get that success."Both our economies are orientated towards services, digital and tech, but at the moment India is only our 15th largest trading partner. Doing a deal can put this right by giving British businesses a ‘first mover’ advantage in India’s markets."

Anne-Marie Trevelyan says UK "leading efforts" to make the WTO "fit for purpose"

The minister also said the UK was leading efforts to make the World Trade Organisation "fit for purpose". She pointed out that when the WTO was established in 1995, less than 1% of the world’s population was online."So, the UK is committed to modernising the organisation and advancing digital regulations," she said."Our government is completely committed to smashing through the obstacles in the way of our FinTechs and financiers, and regulating to embrace competitiveness and innovation."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted in the Spring 2022 issue of Think Global People.

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