As a member of the Life Science Trade Advisory Group, or TAG, Doris-Ann goes to briefings on progress of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) from the Dept. of International Trade and diplomats around the world.
Some of these are Life Science specific but some are more general. In most cases the information covered is subject to the NDA but if member companies have any interest in a particular country or region then Doris-Ann can feed information in on behalf of the sector or provide a top level insight to any issues.
Yesterday there was a briefing on the FTA with Australia which was signed last night. This is now published and is a very favourable FTA with Australia giving the UK more access to its market than it has to any other country. There are lots of benefits such as abolishment of the 5% tariff on product imported from the UK and more freedom for companies to move staff to Australia.
There are 2 chapters of interest – the chapter on Innovation and another on SMEs. This agreement now needs to go through scrutiny and parliamentary procedures on both sides so will not be in force for a further 9-12 months however. The deal is expected to unlock £10.4 billion of additional trade and will eliminate tariffs on 100% of UK exports.
The agreement along with the recent digital agreement with Singapore are helpful stepping stones for the UK as the first country asking to join the CTPPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) since its inception.