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We are making our vision for Global Britain a reality as we take our trade to new heights in huge and fast-growing markets worldwide. By knocking down the barriers holding back our exports, we are driving forward a jobs-led, exports-led recovery up and down the country. We know that 6.5 million jobs across the United Kingdom rely on exports, with 3.7 million supported by exports to nations beyond the EU. That shows we must look beyond our shores to build back better and stronger.
The Bank of England has this month hiked its forecasts, with it now expecting our economy to grow around 7%. Trade and investment have a big part to play in this as the fuel for new jobs and economic growth. Our mission is to help the best of British excel overseas, from Scotch whisky and Welsh lamb to high-end cars built in places like Solihull and Sunderland.
Last week, we fired the starting gun on a trade deal with India, the largest country we have explored one with yet. Together, we plan to more than double our trading relationship, worth around £23 billion in 2019, by the end of this decade. The world’s largest democracy presents a vast market for businesses in every region and nation of the United Kingdom.
Coupling ourselves with the major economies of today and tomorrow will put Global Britain where the growth is and in a great position to succeed in the future.
That is why we are working flat out to secure new deals with the world’s most dynamic markets.
Our gold standard agreement with Australia is now in sight and we hope to have agreed a deal in by June. Where our Japan deal went further and faster than the EU in industries like services, our Aussie agreement will go above and beyond in areas of huge strategic and economic importance to the United Kingdom. It will be our first from scratch deal outside the EU, supporting jobs across the country by helping businesses export more of their brilliant goods and services, and will boost ties with a friend and ally that shares our values and beliefs.
Meanwhile, we are making great progress with New Zealand after four rounds of talks. Our deal will secure better value Kiwi wine, while making it easier for New Zealanders to stock up on our delicacies like Mr Kipling’s cakes.
But we are not going to rest on our laurels. Later this week, I will formally kick off the process of securing new deals with Canada and Mexico. We have already secured existing trade with these vibrant markets as part of the deals struck to cover £891 billion worth of trade with 67 countries plus the EU.
We will build on this by negotiating our next generation of trade deals, which will do more to harness the digital revolution, boost innovation and turbocharge our pursuit of green growth.
Meanwhile, we are preparing to make history by starting in the coming weeks to negotiate the terms of our membership to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a free trade area spanning 11 Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.
We will be the first non-founding member to join this high-standards pact, opening a huge gateway for UK businesses to eleven vibrant Pacific markets. They are full of consumers craving the best of British, whether it be chart-topping games developed in Scotland like Grand Theft Auto, Blyth’s cutting-edge robotics or iconic produce such as Cornish clotted cream.
We will make the most of CPTPP’s great benefits without any EU-style strings attached. Indeed, we can only seize this opportunity as an independent nation. We will be joining eleven fully sovereign nations in a massive free trade area.
Of course, our approach will remain rooted in Britain’s values of democracy, free enterprise, the rule of law, and a fierce commitment to high standards, in areas like the environment, food and animal welfare.
This is Global Britain in action: delivering on the promise of Brexit by embracing opportunities overseas to help British businesses go global. By doing so, we are levelling up the country with jobs in the industries of the future across the UK from Teesside to Speyside. Put simply, Global Britain means local jobs – and these jobs are at the forefront of our recovery.
Free and fair trade is helping us not just to weather the pandemic but to come out stronger. Together with our friends such as Canada and Mexico, we are building back better as we forge ahead to a bright future beyond Covid that is rich in jobs, prosperity and opportunity.