- International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, appoints 2 new HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs)
- New York Consul General Antony Phillipson appointed as HMTC for North America
- Mumbai Deputy High Commissioner Crispin Simon named for South Asia role
As the UK prepares for future trade agreements with countries around the world, International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, today (Monday 5 February) names 2 new HMTCs. They will champion British trade with some of the UK’s biggest economic partners.
With 90% of growth projected to come from outside the EU, Dr Fox said the appointments signal “a new way of doing things”, with far more autonomy for his senior officials to improve trade with key markets of the future.
Antony Phillipson has been appointed as HMTC for North America, while Crispin Simon has been appointed to the South Asia role.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:
With the IMF predicting that 90% of growth will come from outside the EU, we need to look at where the emerging markets are and put UK businesses in prime position to benefit.
That is why, as an international economic department, we are introducing a new way of doing things with the appointment of our HM Trade Commissioners.
They will have more autonomy to do what works best in their region to improve trade with key markets of the future.
Antony and Crispin bring a wealth of in-country knowledge and expertise to their new roles, alongside an extensive network of contacts in North America and South Asia – 2 key growth markets where British companies already have a well-established presence.
In North America, the United States is the UK’s single largest trading partner and biggest export market, accounting for 14.5% of all UK trade and more than 18% of British exports in 2016. Whilst in South Asia, trade in goods and services between the UK and India alone was worth more than £15 billion in 2016. Both regions are home to some of the world’s largest and fastest-expanding economies.
These appointments follow an innovative new approach by the Department for International Trade (DIT) which last month published a list of upcoming visits by ministers, calling on businesses to have their say on ‘in market’ issues. Dr Fox and his team will be visiting India and the United States in the next few weeks, where they will also meet with the new HMTCs.
DIT Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, said:
I am delighted to welcome Antony and Crispin to their new roles. They have both already done a fantastic job promoting the UK overseas, and securing inward investment to the UK.
As HMTCs, they will play an important role leading our work overseas to help British businesses export and grow internationally, and attracting investment into the UK.
Speaking after his appointment, HMTC for North America Antony Phillipson said:
The US and Canada are 2 of the UK’s most important trading partners. Developing our independent trade policy and future agreements will boost companies on both sides of the Atlantic looking to invest, create jobs and spread growth.
Crispin Simon, HMTC for South Asia, added:
The strength of Britain’s highly-skilled workforce is widely recognised in South Asia, with Indian companies alone creating or protecting more than 11,000 jobs in the UK last year.
British businesses exporting and investing in India also support one in 20 jobs in the country’s private sector – and I am excited to be helping more UK-based companies unlock the trading opportunities that one of the world’s fastest-growing economies has to offer.
All of the new HMTCs will cooperate closely with HM Ambassadors and High Commissioners, the wider diplomatic network, and other HM Government colleagues based in countries in their region, in a joined-up and coordinated government effort overseas to promote UK trade and prosperity.
In total, there will be 9 geographical areas that the HM Trade Commissioners will cover:
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network
- Latin America
- Middle East
- North America
- South Asia
Richard Burn was last week appointed HMTC for China during the Prime Minister and Dr Fox’s visit to the country.
Further HMTCs will be appointed shortly.
About Antony Phillipson and Crispin Simon
Antony Phillipson is Her Majesty’s Consul General in New York and Director General of International Trade North America. Most recently, Antony was Director of Trade and Partnerships in the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Crispin Simon is the British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India and the Director General of the Department for International Trade, India and South Asia. Crispin has extensive experience across both the private and public sectors.