Australian High Commissioner speaks directly to Black Country Businesses

31 Jul 2020

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Australian High Commissioner speaks directly to Black Country Businesses

Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom speaks directly to Black Country businesses promoting the region for international trade

Opportunities for the West Midlands and Black Country based companies, in manufacturing in particular, including automotive, food, drink and the tech sectors, can substantially benefit from the UK and Australia trade bill, currently being negotiated by the Department for International Trade and their Australian counterparts.

In a live virtual meeting with businesses from across the region the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His excellency George Brandis QC, alongside Stourbridge MP, Suzanne Webb who secured the Commissioner for the meeting, joined the Black Country Chamber of Commerce to discuss some of the opportunities they see ahead for the region as the UK negotiates a free trade deal with a key international trade partner.

Australia is the Black Country’s 5th largest export market by total number of export wins with a total of £33m worth of goods exported there.

The West Midlands is also the highest performing trading region in the UK to Australia with approximately 2.5% of all the regions exports heading to the Australian market.

Rebooting and restarting the Black Country’s powerful exporting base is key to the region’s prospects as the country eases its way out of the Covid-19 crisis and prepares for the end of the Brexit transition period later this year.

Mr Brandis praised the Black Country’s resilience when it came to Covid-19 and remarked that the region can substantially benefit from the UK-AUS Free Trade Agreement.

The region has a proud industrial heritage of exporting goods and products around the world and Australia wants to benefit from the local expertise here.

The UK and Australian governments have set out their ambitions for a free trade deal to be agreed in principle, meaning an end to tariffs and making it easier for more businesses to export to Australia and open up new customer markets.

The Black Country’s blend of manufacturing and professional services makes it one of the best-placed regions in the country to benefit from a UK-AUS Free Trade Deal.

Member of Parliament for Stourbridge, Suzanne Webb MP announced that she will continue to push for ‘export champions’ across the Black Country, working with the Chamber to support businesses ensuring that they are best placed to take advantage of the trade deals.

Ms Webb said, “The UK is a newly emerging independent trading nation and it is important we engage with local businesses as they have a key role to play in this. “The Black Country Chamber of Commerce will also play its part by continuing to provide strong support to local businesses. Under the cloud of a certain recession, we need to fire up the West Midlands Engines, explore new markets, using the great evangelism of entrepreneurship and we must do this by working together and exploring all opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Black Country Chamber CEO Corin Crane said, “This webinar event with George Brandis was incredibly timely and allowed businesses to further understand the opportunities available to them through a UK-AUS Free Trade Agreement.

“Local businesses have got a lot to plan for at the moment – preparing for changes to our European importing and exporting rules, fluctuating currency rates, recession and of course, Covid-19, therefore identifying opportunities to trade with Australia will allow them to explore new markets for their products and services whilst sharing their knowledge and expertise across the globe.”

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