The historic deal – the first of its kind in 20 years – was announced at the close of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference in Bali.
The UK has been a key proponent of this deal, with Lord Green, UK Minister for Trade and Investment, as a vice-chair of the WTO conference in Bali.
This deal will make it faster and easier to trade between countries - bringing benefits to businesses across all sectors, and in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who are hit the hardest by administrative costs of exporting. Currently up to seven per cent of the value of global trade is swallowed up by needless red tape.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
Trade is a vital part of our long-term economic plan and was one of my G8 priorities this year. So I am delighted that we have secured an impressive global deal worth over £1bn a year to British businesses and £70bn globally.
This deal will help boost our exports, meaning that UK companies can grow and employ more people. If just 100,000 small businesses either start exporting or spread to new markets over the next five years, this would generate an extra £30 billion for the UK economy and create 100,000 new jobs.
By slashing barriers to trade, this deal will also provide a lifeline to the world’s poorest people. Helping developing countries to grow is not only the right thing to do, but it also increases potential markets for us all. So this really is win-win and the World Trade Organisation is to be commended for this historic deal.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
Today’s agreement marks an important milestone in opening up global free trade and the UK has worked hard in securing this ambitious deal. Cutting red tape and breaking down barriers at borders will create new opportunities, especially for small businesses to export.
Trade plays a key role in creating jobs and supporting a stronger UK economy. It will also bring growth around the world, which is not only good for developing countries, but will create new markets for British businesses to invest in.
The road to securing a trade package in Bali was hard work. I would like to congratulate all the countries that have come together to reach this significant agreement.
Lord Green, Minister for UK Trade and Investment and Vice-Chair of the WTO Bali Conference representing developed nations, said:
This is a great day for the global trading system. We’ve demonstrated that the WTO can deliver significant multilateral trade deals. The deal we have agreed here today is good for the UK and even better for developing countries. It will bring real benefits to businesses in every country, in particular to small firms which are hardest hit by the costs of trading across inefficient borders.