I’d like to share with you my experience and lessons learned about international trade having worked in this space for over 20 years in commercial roles as well as acting on behalf of governments and donor organisations.
Brexit presents uncertainty as well as opportunity.
Future prosperity will be driven by increasingly global international engagement, especially if we are outside the single market. The UK must negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement to offer greatest possible access to the EU. Other international trade deals will also be critical in stimulating an increasing volume and higher value exports whilst maintaining its attractiveness for foreign direct investment.
My experience has shown that the UK Government – in planning the country’s trade strategy – benefits from political and commercial expert insight to achieve our country’s ambition. Will the new freedoms which Brexit has promised realise a healthy trade surplus or maintain a trade deficit?
UK in the spotlight
The world’s view of the UK’s position, reputation and capability in global value chains is critical. Over the past decade, this has formed the foundation for landing major investment from Nissan, Tata and many others. The UK is already known for making the shift to an innovative knowledge-based economy – a reputation aspired to by many international governments of rapidly developing countries. This is demonstrated by our decades-long and continued leadership in global rankings of R&D-led investment. Recent decisions by leading multi-nationals such as Google show that even in a post-Brexit era, the UK continues to attract the world’s largest businesses who commit their future to the UK economy.
Developing trading relationships
The UK’s main trading partners have been the U.S. and European countries. Pioneering programmes with countries outside these trading blocs – often referred to as high growth markets – have established greater exports yet there is further potential in these highly competitive markets.
When I was managing initiatives on behalf of UK Government, we achieved success by using strong market, technology and sector insight whilst navigating cultural and commercial necessities. Of course, it is likely again that business will benefit from some form of UK Government financial stimulus to achieve its aspiration.
Maintaining international aid
A further essential component of a country’s reputation on the international stage is through aid. My colleagues and I have seen how the UK Government’s commitment to maintain aid funding creates further mutual opportunities to create lasting economic, cultural and social impact. Urban development projects and renewable energy initiatives show how progress is being made towards more integrated multi-country aid and donor funding further endorsing the need for international engagement and collaboration to tackle global development challenges.
We’re committed to shaping the future of international trade and development.