Reacting to the new UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand trade deals which entered effect at midnight, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and member of the UK Trade Strategy Group, Dr Liz Cameron CBE, said:
“Scottish businesses will welcome seeing the UK’s first trade agreements come into force since we left the European Union.
“Combined UK bilateral trade with Australia and New Zealand amounts to over £15bn per year. Inward foreign direct investment from both countries into the UK is £16.6bn, and in the other direction represents a combined £42.1bn, highlighting the importance of securing these deals.
“By 2035, the Australia deal could boost the UK economy by £2.3bn per year, and the New Zealand deal by £0.8bn, over the long-term, with benefits felt across the UK.
On the UK-Australia trade deal, Dr Cameron said:
“SMEs make up 99% of UK businesses, however, they’re often the most disadvantaged when it comes to making the most of opportunities of global trade – usually down to lack of time or resources.”
“This is why the FTA includes SME-friendly provisions that should be helpful to SMEs looking to trade with Australia. Australia is a huge market for the UK with total exports worth around £10.6 billion last year, including medicinal & pharmaceutical products, cars, specialised machinery and, as expected, whisky and other Scottish beverages and SME businesses in Scotland should see their exporting performance boosted.
“The UK-Australia FTA harnesses the potential of digital technologies to make all forms of trade cheaper, easier, and faster. It also ensures the legal recognition of electronic contracts and signatures and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network can provide support and advice on all documentation and certification required, helping to keep businesses in Scotland on track.”
On the UK-New Zealand trade deal, Dr Cameron said:
“UK-New Zealand bilateral trade continues to increase and is set to grow further under the new UK-New Zealand free trade agreement.
“This FTA will see agritech manufactures benefit from tariff-free exports, flexible rules of origin and simple customs procedures when exporting. The UK has innovative offerings across the clean growth economy and the FTA will open new opportunities in the New Zealand market as the demand for British innovation and green tech increases.
“For those businesses in Scotland wishing to deliver services in person in New Zealand, the FTA will also bring greater certainty and access for professionals.
“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network can provide support and advice on all documentation and certification required for trading with New Zealand, helping to keep businesses in Scotland at the forefront of global leadership.”