International Trade Minister meets with Essex businesses at Parliamentary Forum
The Minister of State for Trade Policy, George Hollingbery MP was the guest speaker at the Essex Chambers of Commerce International Trade Forum at Westminster’s Portcullis House last night (13th May), Chaired by Witham MP, Priti Patel. The Forum was attended by a wide range of business sectors from across Essex; including financial services, ports and airports, manufacturing, scientific equipment and international freight management.
The Forum opened with a detailed briefing from Mr Hollingbery on trade policy and how his department has been tackling market access issues and future free trade agreements around the world. He also provided an update on how hard his team has been working on Brexit preparation. Negotiations on free trade agreements worldwide are well underway and he highlighted the practical issues that had to be overcome in order to open such negotiations after more than 40 years of being unable to broker our own trade deals, due to EU membership.
Questions from the audience dealt with a number of trade barriers experienced by Essex companies attempting to trade overseas.
Commenting after the meeting, Priti said: “We are a global trading power and the 5th largest economy in the world. The Minister and his department are right to prioritise the many trade issues that British firms face across the world. That includes addressing market access issues ensuring that the U.K. is advancing our free trade agenda and that we are standing up against protectionist trade policies that some countries operate in order to prevent U.K. firms from trading overseas. Business from across our County spoke of their trading experiences and called upon the Government to continue to support them in their business development at home and abroad. I am grateful to the Minister for taking the time to meet with businesses from Essex and listen to their very practical concerns and issues.”