International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox will promote overseas investment into growing UK industries at meetings with some of the most successful businesses in Canada and the USA this week (Monday, 9 April to Friday, 13 April).
He will highlight the importance of building relationships with companies and businesses– not just governments and representatives – in a 5 day visit to North America.
During the visit, he is expected to meet the globe’s largest online retailer, Amazon, and banking software enterprise firm, Zafin, where he will promote modernising global trade rules around e-commerce.
The digital sector accounted for more than £32 billion of UK exports in services in 2015, a growth of almost 40% since 2010 and yet many of the relevant WTO rules around the digital economy have not been updated for 2 decades.
He will also meet entertainment company Warner Bros and visit Double Negative Studios which created the visual effects for box office hit, Blade Runner 2049.
The International Trade Secretary will highlight how inward investment in film and television production from US studios like Warner Bros, Disney and Universal was worth £2 billion to the UK economy in 2017. Britain’s creative industries are worth £92 billion in total, employ 2 million people, and are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.
In the USA, he will visit Starbucks and will meet representatives from Scottish whisky distillers, Balvenie as both companies continue to export across the globe. The USA remains the largest market outside of the EU – worth £2.3 billion last year and rising 3% from the previous year.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
In the USA and Canada this week, I’ll be showcasing the UK’s strong creative, tech and food sectors, making the case for greater investment and demand in UK products and expertise in both of these countries.
I will tell our global partners that more than one year on since the EU referendum, there are strong reasons for the UK to be optimistic - exports of goods and services have increased significantly over the year, with particular demand in the USA and Canada for machinery and vehicles.
It’s clear evidence that UK companies are succeeding on the world stage, and as an international economic department we are banging the drum for our world-class goods and services.
Latest trade figures released from the Office for National Statistics show UK exports of goods and services rose by 12.1% to £622.1 billion as the trade deficit narrowed by £12.1 billion.
Non-EU countries continue to be the main destination for services exports making up 61.3% of all services exports and worth £171.4 billion to the UK economy.
Statistics from the Department for International Trade (DIT) also show that last year the UK attracted more foreign direct investment projects than ever before (year 2016 to 2017), with more than 2,200 projects recorded.
This investment meant that more than 75,000 new jobs were created, and 32,600 safeguarded, amounting to over 2,000 jobs per week across the country.
Working to promote the UK to great trading nation, DIT has set up 14 working groups across 21 countries to strike trade deals and strengthen commercial ties with key trading partners.