The UK’s internationally trading businesses have been told to work the changing geopolitical landscape to their advantage.
Speaking to members of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) and MPs at a networking event in the Palace of Westminster last night (22 February), Lord Wharton of Yarm also said that he was “heartened to see a renewed emphasis on trade across government and across the political divide” over the last decade.
IOE&IT members gathered in the Westminster for an ‘Export Reception’ event last night, where they had the chance to meet the IOE&IT team and mingle with MPs on the International Trade Committee, including its chair Angus Brendan MacNeil MP.
Anthony Mangnall MP, who sponsored the room for the event, said that the government had a “truly ambitious trade programme” and said that “businesses that trade internationally have an added level of resilience”.
IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione said the event was a “clarion call” for business and government to work together to improve UK exports.
Trade at the heart
Lord Wharton, delivering the keynote address at the reception, said government needed to support more businesses to trade internationally, saying “the easier we can make trade, the better”.
He acknowledged that, following the Russian war with Ukraine and rising US tensions with China, there were geopolitical “forces that could work against trade”. However, he added that such a geopolitical landscape could strengthen relationships among allies, saying that traders needed to turn this into “something in our advantage”.
“As a trading nation, it is the ingenuity and commerce of our people, the work they put into their international relationships and customers, that have given the country the influence it has had,” he said.
He also welcomed events such as last night, saying that it is “important that organisations like IOE&IT act as a bridge” between business and government.
‘Go through the door’
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the president of the IOE&IT, also highlighted the importance of getting businesses and ministers together in a room.
He highlighted the “remarkable progress” the UK had made on negotiating trade deals following Brexit, saying that the agreements “open the door” for businesses to do more international trade. He said that more needed to be done to “help businesses go through that door”.
He added that a trade deal with India and accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would be “extremely important” for the UK.
The IOE&IT would like to thank our event partners for the Export Reception: Alibaba Group, B&H Worldwide, DPD Group and Norsk Global.