The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP visits Australia
The Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP visited Australia at the end of last week in his capacity as the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His responsibilities include the Far East and South East Asia as well as the Commonwealth, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka as well as Latin America.
The Australian British Chamber of Commerce were lucky enough to have him address an invitational luncheon at Corporate Member, Ashurst's office in Melbourne on Friday. He spoke at length about the strong value that the British Government places on their relationship with Australia in security, Government and trade and investment more broadly, particularly given our close proximity to Asia.
He highlighted that trade between the countries currently stands at over $18 billion and that as an export market Australia is higher ranked than Japan Canada and India and Australia's 6th largest trading partner at $10 billion each year. Britain is our second largest source of Foreign Direct Investment at 280 billion pounds worth of investment stock.
The UK is also the fastest growing of the G7 countries outpacing even the USA and with growth above 3%. The UK is also the leading destination for FDI in Europe, and seeking to attract further growth in that space by reducing their corporate tax rate to 20% by 2050.
Combined with a strategic goal of reaching the Chancellor, George Osborne's target of 1 trillion pounds in trade by 2020, a doubling of the level at the time of the current governments election.
His comments particularly commended the opportunity to work even more closely on the international stage to work towards global growth, through the Bali process and importantly this year through Australia's Presidency of the G20.
Mr Swire also highlighting the opportunities for Australian's to look for ways to work more closely with the UK into the future, particularly where there were synergies in the expansion of both our countries interests in Asia.
To read the full speech- https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/uk-and-australia-partners-in-growth