As a newly independent trading nation, we are realising our vision of Global Britain by forging closer links with our friends and family across the world.
New Zealand may be on the other side of the world from the United Kingdom, but we could not be closer as like-minded democracies who believe fiercely in free and fair trade. Trade is vital for our ongoing recovery and lasting prosperity, lighting the spark for new and high-quality jobs in key industries like food and drink, advanced manufacturing, services and technology.
We want to forge closer links with fast-growing and like-minded nations across the Americas and Pacific to help the best of British business export worldwide.
That is why we have been working hard over the last few months to strike a gold standard trade agreement with New Zealand. We have made great progress so far and our negotiators have been meeting over the last week for our fourth round of talks.
We are united in our ambition for a free trade agreement which raises the bar in digital trade, helping unleash the potential of the businesses who will define our future. We are also championing clean growth through green trade.
Trade has brought our consumers closer in shared tastes, with New Zealanders able to stock up on Mr Kipling’s cakes and Yorkshire Tea while we enjoy Marlborough wine and wagyu beef. And it has benefitted our businesses, as I have seen for myself with those dynamic British entrepreneurs who have sought new opportunities in vibrant markets such as New Zealand.
More than a hundred buses built by the Optare Group in Yorkshire now course the streets of Wellington and beyond. The Blyth-based Tharsus, known for producing robotics for big firms like Ocado, joined forces with an innovative New Zealander company to develop wearable technology supporting social distancing. Their devices have helped keep people safe during the pandemic, whether they were running in the London Marathon or working in factories for employers like Siemens in Leeds.
Deepening our trading relationship with New Zealand will bring the UK a big step closer to joining them in one of the largest trading areas on earth: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
As part of this high-standards pact, we will couple ourselves with 11 of the world’s most vibrant economies, from Singapore and Japan to Mexico and Vietnam, covering £9 trillion in GDP.
CPTPP offers 95 percent tariff-free trade on goods between members and advanced provisions for services and digital trade. But unlike when we were in the European Union, we will remain a fully sovereign nation as this partnership is purely about free trade.
We have already secured nearly £900 billion in trade in covering 66 countries plus the EU. But Global Britain is just getting started. Joining CPTPP and striking an ambitious trade deal with New Zealand would take this to new heights.
By satisfying the growing global appetite for high-quality British goods and services, our businesses will have more money to invest in their future, whether it involves hiring more people or expanding their operations.
We will bring home the benefits of free and fair trade to every region and nation of the UK. As the Fraser of Allander Institute found, around 6.5 million jobs across the country are estimated to rely on exports. Put simply, Global Britain means local jobs.
Our Trade and Investment Hubs in Belfast, Darlington, Cardiff and Edinburgh will maximise the global potential of local businesses, whether they be car manufacturers in the Midlands or Scotch whisky distillers. These hubs, alongside our Office for Investment and raft of freeports, will help us drive forward an exports-led and investment-led recovery across the UK.
This is Global Britain in action: paving the way to prosperity alongside friends and family like New Zealand as we build back better for people across the UK and beyond our shores.