Post-Brexit London Pushing 'Win-Win' UK-Italy Trade Narrative
Britain is determined not to allow Brexit get in the way of its trade partnerships with European Union member states.
In her first international summit since taking the role, UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has suggested during her trip to Italy that the two countries are eyeing a New Export & Investment dialogue.
What it is meant to achieve is boost exports for both British and Italian companies in sectors such as life sciences, defence and security, as well as growth sectors of the future such as digital and tech.
“Enhancing our bilateral relationship with Italy is a win-win, which will boost export opportunities and investment promotion for our businesses. Italy is our ninth-largest trading partner, while the UK is Italy’s fifth-largest export market - I am delighted we are kicking off this discussion,” Trevelyan said.
Britain has been openly seeking to fortify its trade partnerships outside of the EU since it left the bloc end of 31 January 2020. The UK has also been moving towards securing trade deals and building anew paired with EU members as well.
With trade between Italy and the UK being worth more than £34 billion in 2020, London is keen to keep the trade flow with Rome smooth, even after its breakup from the EU.
Trevelyan spoke alongside Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio in Sorrento, when she said that the trade dialogue between the two nations will also promote inward investment, including in low-carbon industries such as onshore and offshore wind, hydrogen, and carbon capture storage.
She also mentioned the food and drink industry and tech sector, where the UK’s research and development strengths can help support Italian scale-ups.
There are also plans for a greater collaboration and sharing of best practice between the two countries’ export credit organisations – UK Export Finance and the Italian Export Credit Agency.
Italy’s outlook is to build the economy back after the pandemic and strengthen the “multilateral trading system with the WTO at its centre”.
Last year, Britain’s exports to Italy included cars worth £829 million– equivalent to 10% of all UK goods exported to the EU nation. Britain also exported £383 million worth of medicinal and pharmaceutical products to Italy.
In turn, the UK imported last year £1.2 billion worth of Italian clothing, £860 million worth of beverages and over £641 million worth of fruit and vegetables.
Britain's relations with the European Union have been strained in the recent year due to disagreements
over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol - part of the EU-UK divorce treaty, governing the customs and immigration issues at the border in the island of Ireland between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.