International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, will arrive in Australia tomorrow (Tuesday 28 November) to advance the UK’s trade and investment relationship.
Dr Fox will meet Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo, to discuss future bilateral trading relationships, and how to boost current trade and investment ties.
Trade in goods and services between the UK and Australia was worth £13.1 billion (approximately A$23 billion) in 2016. UK exports to Australia increased by 3% to £8.6 billion (approximately A$15 billion) in 2016 and Australia invested in 108 projects in the UK last year 11% more than the previous year, creating over 1,750 British jobs.
The Department for International Trade’s analysis of IMF data predicts that 90% of world growth in the coming years will come from outside the EU, and the government is taking steps to put British businesses in a position to benefit from this trend, while taking a fresh look at our global trading relationships.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
The UK and Australia already have a strong economic and cultural relationship – based on our shared histories, language, and open liberal economies. This visit highlights the commitment on all sides for this friendship to continue as our countries develop.
Together with my colleagues from Australia I look forward laying the groundwork for potential free trade deals, and looking at practical steps we can take now to boost trade and investment ties, while making it easier for our businesses to work with their partners on the other side of the world.
As part of the 3 day visit, Dr Fox will also meet trade policy organisations, business associations and British businesses. This will include BAE Systems, where Dr Fox will support the global combat ship Australia bid offering the most advanced warship to Australia, with the potential to create and sustain 5,000 jobs in Australia.
Dr Fox will also deliver a keynote speech at a business event by Sydney Harbour on opportunities for bilateral trade and investments.
Also attending the visit will be the government’s Chief Trade Negotiations Adviser Crawford Falconer, who joined the Department for International Trade in June with more than 25 years of public service experience in trade and foreign affairs.
While visiting Australia, Dr Fox will be promoting the GREAT Britain campaign - the government’s international marketing campaign which showcases the best of what nation has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.
The campaign has already secured economic returns of £2.7 billion for the UK and is active in more than 144 countries worldwide, including Australia.
Source: DIT estimate drawing on IMFs September 2017 WEO data, based on GDP measured using purchasing power parities (PPPs)
In September 2016 the UK announced a joint Trade Working Group with Australia to boost trade and investment ties and to discuss the future trade and investment relationship and pave the way for considering an ambitious FTA post-Brexit. Lord Price and Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo opened the first meeting in Canberra in November 2016.
The UK welcomes the progress on the EU’s draft mandates for FTA negotiations with Australia, and looks forward to negotiations commencing as soon as possible thereafter.