Department for International Trade boosts removal of trade barriers to unlock markets for UK firms

Fri 26 Nov 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

The UK has broken down hundreds of trade barriers around the world opening up new opportunities for domestic businesses.

Department for International Trade statistics released yesterday (Thursday 25 November) show 217 trade barriers in 74 countries were removed during 2020-21, representing an increase of almost 20% on the previous year.

The DIT reports that the successful removal of trade barriers has opened up new opportunities for British exporters.

Chicken to Japan

Recent successes include complex negotiations to open up poultry exports to Japan following, which could boost the sector by up to £65m over five years.

This is on top of the 99% tariff-free trade secured when the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force in October 2020.

Pork can also now be exported to Mexico for the first time which could sales by £50 million over the first five years.

International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“As an independent trading nation, the UK is opening up brand new opportunities in major economies around the world. Each and every one of these 217 trade wins are fantastic news for our UK businesses who sell their products abroad – and we will continue to open doors for the many more that will export more in future.”

During International Trade Week (15-19 November), Trevelyan stressed the government’s ambition to get more companies exporting to almost double their value to £1tn by 2030.

Online assistance

Businesses facing market access issues can report barriers and find out about barriers that are relevant to them by using DIT digital systems, such as the recently launched Export Support Service.

Other barriers addressed in the past year include:

  • Working with the Jordanian government to open up British food exports worth £32m, by changing labelling rules for a market that imports £2.5bn worth of food annually
  • Unlocking access to finance in Hong Kong to enable UK education providers to build new schools there from early next year
  • Cooperating with Indian counterparts to enable greater foreign ownership and investment in its £4bn insurance market. The threshold has increased from 49% to 74% foreign ownership
  • In Colombia, helping British asset managers enter a green investment market worth £835m per year
  • Supporting UK business in Bulgaria to access products to develop cutting-edge technology that will extend the life of vaccines.