UK MP: “Brilliant” outlook for British ports

Industry Database

UK ports have “a brilliant future” as Britain leaves the EU and takes advantage of the trade growth that is picking up worldwide, the country’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox has said.

In a speech at a parliamentary reception hosted by the British Ports Association, Mr Fox said that Department for International Trade experts are preparing for new trade deal negotiations with partners including the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Additionally, the department is considering the possibility of new regional partnerships, like accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he claimed.

“That of course would allow the UK to further establish our presence in the world’s fastest-growing regions, and when you look at CPTPP, which is about 12% of global GDP, and you add the UK’s GDP to that, it’s about the same as the EU-28 minus the UK’s GDP,” the Secretary of State said of the deal.

Mr Fox noted that increasing the UK’s international trade will bring jobs and prosperity to the locations where goods are loaded and unloaded as well as the broader economy.

He noted that private investment to improve port capabilities and capacity is “only one piece in the puzzle” and that the effectiveness of inland transport networks also influences the cost of imports and exports.

The Secretary of State added that the UK Department for Transport’s Transport infrastructure for our global future: a study of England's port connectivity report, published in April, “firmly makes the case for investment in effective freight transport links as an enabler of economic growth and trade, and this should be a default factor in infrastructure investment decisions”.

He said he was looking forward to taking talks with the ports and maritime industry forward as the UK Government develops a five-year maritime strategy.

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