Brexit BONANZA: Liz Truss eyes new mammoth trade deal in SE Asia – ‘£3bn just the start!’

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With Ms Truss leading the charge to shape Britain post-Brexit future, one Tory MP has claimed the UK was ready to become a trade champion in the emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

Ms Truss has already signed deals with Singapore and Vietnam but Richard Graham, Tory MP for Gloucester and trade envoy for the ASEAN Economic Community, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, indicated Brexit Britain was now targeting its latest deal in the region.

Indeed, speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Graham revealed a Joint Economic Trade Committee had now been established with Indonesia to push forward with a free trade agreement.

The MP also claimed there is a “big appetite” to secure a trade deal with the UK now the country has left the EU.

Amid the possibility of increasing trade with states such as Indonesia, the MP claimed Britain is set to boom due to the vast possibilities in a region which has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

He said: “Much more needs to be done.

“With a country like Indonesia, with its 270 million people roughly and 40% of the population of ASEAN.

“We think that you know, 3 billion a year trade is only the beginning.

“And there’s much more that can and should be done.

“So it’s about, it’s about doing a lot more faster.

“And of course, there’s big appetite, I think out there, as well, not least, because of the geopolitical context, you know, we’re not China.

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“And we’re not America. I think in the era where, if you’d like the sort of Pax Americana, of the post, Vietnam War era, has rather come to an end.

“And I think they’ll be more, you know, follow up from several cabinet ministers on different issues with Southeast Asia.”

There are nine sectors which have been identified for enhanced cooperation between the UK and Indonesia such as financial services and technology.

It is also expected that Indonesia’s economy could become one of the top five in the world by 2050.

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As well as building trade alliances with individual states the UK is also looking to become a greater partner to ASEAN and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The UK was accepted as a joint dialogue partner with ASEAN – an economic union of 10 states – and held talks with the current chair of the group and Brunei Foreign Minister II Dato Erywan at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ meeting this week.

The meeting marked the first time a member of ASEAN has been invited to the G7 foreign ministers meeting and indicates the UK’s intent to pursue alliances in the indo-pacific.

On February 1, 2021, the UK Government formally applied to join the CPTPP, a trade alliance of 11 countries which accounts for 13 percent of global GDP.

Upon signing the first round of exploratory talks with Indonesia, Ms Truss said: “By 2050 Indonesia is predicted to be one of the top five economies globally.

“Today’s agreement sets out our ambitions to strengthen our trade and investment ties, deepen our collaboration across a range of sectors, from financial services and technology to renewables and open new markets for UK businesses.

“We want to strengthen trade links with like-minded countries like Indonesia who share our belief in democracy and the international rules-based system and help strengthen Global Britain’s dynamic partnerships with ASEAN and Southeast Asia.”

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