Trade offers the UK a powerful route to post-pandemic recovery, but only if the UK seizes the opportunity to reaffirm its status as a global leader in free and open trade. And there are benefits for businesses – companies become more productive, more profitable and see expansion in growth when expanding their international footprint. The benefits to the local economy are clear, which is why the CBI is calling on the government to put the trade agenda at the heart of the economic recovery.
The CBI has launched a report calling for government and business to work in partnership on the UK’s ambitious trade agenda. Partnership for prosperity outlines how international trade and investment can be a key driver of economic growth and job creation, supporting the levelling up agenda. Only a strong partnership between business and government will ensure the benefits of post-Brexit trade are realised.
And now is the time to have this conversation. The UK is regaining independent control of its trade policy and hosts the G7 and COP26 in 2021. The CBI will also host the B7 group of business organisations to support the UK’s multilateral priorities. So, the business community is optimistic about the opportunities ahead.
Partnership for prosperity outlines key recommendations for business and government to achieve long-term success on trade and investment, including:
- Create an Office for Trade Impact (OFTI) to analyse UK trade policy success across regions and sectors, in line with international best practice
- Champion services in trade deals as a fundamental UK strength and launch a global campaign to promote services and exploit export opportunities
- Lead a global drive for inclusive growth through the G7 and G20, tied to discussions on economic recovery and links between UK aid spend and trade
- Integrate business thinking into UK foreign policy, taking into account trade’s significance as a geopolitical lever
- Share draft negotiating text with business and regularly consult the Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) to provide real-time confidential intelligence in trade talks.
For more information, contact Will McGarrigle.