Co-Chair of Trade Out of Poverty, Peter Lilley, yesterday morning spoke as a panellist at a CityUK seminar on “Trade for Export-Led Growth” alongside representatives from HSBC, ICC UK, UK Export Finance, BIS, Allen & Overy and the Swedish National Board of Trade.
With low income countries accounting for 20% of the world’s population, but less than 2% of world trade, Peter emphasised the role of trade in engaging developing economies in the global marketplace. He stressed that the benefits for opening up our markets to the least developed would in turn stimulate our export market as those in LDCs increase their spending power. It would be a win-win for all involved if UK companies were to exploit the opportunity and need for investment in infrastructure as well as the market for professional services in the developing world.
James Emmett, Global Head of Trade & Receivables Finance at HSBC highlighted that many UK companies use lack of practical knowledge of developing markets as a barrier to going international and asked why the UK is not replicating the work of many German cities and states in forming specific city or regional links with China, based on shared industries and specialisms. This model can surely be used for the UK’s relationship with developing as well as middle-income countries.
Scope for export-led growth must also begin to take into account the power of the internet for trade purposes. Andrew Wilson, Director of Policy at the ICC, spoke of the “death of distance” and the importance of a robust internet provision in all developing and developed economies to maximise the opportunities for export-led growth.