UK launches negotiations with Canada on a new trade deal

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A dedicated SME chapter should be placed at the heart of any future agreement to ensure that small businesses can make best use of the FTA’s provisions…reports Asian Lite News

The UK and Canada will today launch negotiations on a new Free Trade Agreement in Ottawa.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will meet with her counterpart, Canadian Minister for International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng to formally launch talks that aim to bring benefits for both countries and strengthen a trading relationship already worth over £19 billion in 2020.

Building on the benefits of the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement, the new Free Trade Agreement will go further than ever before in areas like innovation, digital, data, the environment and women’s economic empowerment.

For example, the adoption of digital trading systems can make trade cheaper, faster and more secure for businesses. This could see more than 10,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses benefiting from lower barriers to trade such as simplified paperwork, encouraging more businesses to start trading with Canada.

The UK is Canada’s third largest trading partner and Canadian demand for imports is projected to grow by 45% by 2035. Canadian-owned businesses employ 108,000 people across the UK and additional investment resulting from a new deal could support jobs across the country and help level up the UK.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “The UK and Canada are close friends and international allies who believe in the value that free and fair trade brings to livelihoods and communities. Our trading relationship with Canada was worth over £19 billion a year in 2020 and there is huge potential to strengthen and grow trade between our two countries. We want a new deal for the 21st century – one that will boost our thriving services sector, promote higher standards of living and act as a beacon for others to follow in its world-leading commitments on climate change and women’s economic empowerment.”

Martin McTague, Federation of Small Businesses National Chair, said, “The launch of these trade talks marks a really important step forward. A third of our members who export see Canada as an important market, and they’ll be hoping that these discussions result in an ambitious free trade agreement that enables more small businesses from both sides of the Atlantic to realise the benefits of trading internationally.”

A dedicated SME chapter should be placed at the heart of any future agreement to ensure that small businesses can make best use of the FTA’s provisions.

Sally Jones, EY Partner in Trade Strategy, said, “Negotiations to upgrade the UK-Canada trade relationship are a welcome step which will enhance the deep and long-standing ties between the UK and Canadian business communities. This is a significant opportunity to agree new and ambitious trade provisions which will benefit the UK services sector. Enhanced cooperation fostering greater regulatory dialogue and cooperation, and enhancing cross-border digital trade and innovation can help the UK continue to be a leading provider of services around the world.”

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