COMMONS

Minister questioned on trade with developing countries

03 September 2018

The International Trade Committee takes evidence from the Minister of State for Trade Policy, George Hollingbery MP, for its inquiry into Trade and the Commonwealth: developing countries. The Committee will also hear from Rachel Turner, Director for Economic Development and Europe at the Department for International Development (DfID) and Paul Walters, Deputy Director, Development Trade Agreements, Department for International Trade.

Witnesses

Tuesday 4 September, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 2.30pm

  • George Hollingbery MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy, Department for International Trade
  • Rachel Turner, Director for Economic Development and Europe, Department for International Development
  • Paul Walters, Deputy Director, Development Trade Agreements, Department for International Trade

EU arrangements

Trade between the UK and developing countries is currently organised under EU arrangements – including the Generalized Scheme of Preference and Economic Partnership Agreements. Over the course of its inquiry, the Committee has examined the options for trade relationships between the UK and developing countries after Brexit.

The Minister accompanied the Prime Minister on her recent visit to Commonwealth members South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya last week. During the visit, the Prime Minister made a number of announcements relating to trade with and investment in Africa, and the potential for the UK’s future relationship with the continent.

In light of this, the Committee is expected to question the witnesses about the post-Brexit development of the UK’s trade with developing countries and Commonwealth members, and how existing relationships might be utilised in order to advance longer-term trading objectives.

Purpose of the session

The Committee is also expected to focus on the Government’s planned timetable for rolling over existing Economic Partnership Agreements, and to what extent Government departments are co-ordinating in the development of trade policy – through initiatives such as the recently-announced ‘Aid for Trade’ package, which includes £18million in funding from DfID.

The Committee is also expected to question the witnesses on how DIT and DfID are working together to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and to assess and mitigate negative gender-related impacts of trade.

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