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Uk Trade Agreement With Asean

techUK welcomes the goal of signing a Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) with Singapore. This will not only deepen digital trade with Singapore, but also strengthen digital trade across the region. This is a great opportunity for Britain and Singapore to join forces to set a gold standard deal in digital trade. But despite countries` interest in FTA deals with a post-Brexit Britain, analysts still warn against putting the cart in front of the horse. For London to formally open such negotiations, it must formally withdraw from the EU. And even though this is an informal discussion, some doubts remain about Britain`s ability to have enough manpower for experienced trade negotiators. British Trade Minister Liz Truss praised Singapore`s leaders for free trade, after signing the deal with the former British colony that has close ties to London. Nicholas Hanna of Pinsent Mason MPillay, the Singapore joint venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said trade between Britain and Singapore will also face challenges related to the coronavirus. The foreign minister will now travel to Vietnam, one of Asia`s fastest-growing economies, to conclude a new rollover trade deal. Singapore is Britain`s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.

Truss is also expected to sign a similar agreement with Vietnam to ensure that trade continues under the same conditions next year. Vietnam`s main challenges are low productivity and low innovation capacity. Vietnam`s labour productivity in manufacturing is one-tenth that of the United Kingdom. In terms of innovation capacity, Vietnam`s share in ASEAN (0.1% for exports and 2.3% for imports of intellectual royalties in 2019) is tiny compared to its shares in the bloc`s trade and FDI flows. It is too early to say whether or not Brexit will lead to a tectonic shift in the EU`s trade relations with Southeast Asia, but it has certainly remixed the traditional framework of trade relations between the two regions. It has also put in place forces that could have a huge impact on how companies on both sides will behave with each other in the coming years. The UK wants to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN on environment, digitalisation and trade. In 2019, according to Statistics Indonesia, bilateral trade amounted to $2.4 billion. Richard Graham, the British trade representative in the Philippines, expressed hope that the free trade agreement between the Philippines and Britain will soon be signed. London also hopes for closer cooperation and ties in several other areas such as innovation, health and finance. Singapore has partnered with Britain`s first FinTech Bridge, and British and UK Trade Ministers Lord Gerry Grimstone were speaking yesterday (9 December) at the Singapore Fintech Festival. Singapore and Britain on Thursday signed a free trade agreement in the Southeast Asian city-state.

So far, Australia, which is not a member of ASEAN, has been the most aggressive with the formal creation of the Australia-UK working group tasked with studying a future free trade agreement with the UK after Brexit. . . .

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