Kemi Badenoch: We’ll knock down barriers and cut red tape

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has urged world leaders to embrace free trade as she joined the UK’s top fashion houses to promote British luxury goods in Japan.

Jeweller Anabela Chan, hatmaker Christys’ and leather goods firm the House of Swaine accompanied Ms Badenoch on her first visit to the country.

She then met fellow trade ministers at a G7 trade summit in Osaka, where she urged world leaders to cut restrictions and red tape that limit trade.

“I’m excited to be at the G7 trade meeting in Osaka, banging the drum for free and fair trade to ensure global rules work for British businesses,” she said.

“Working with friends around the world like Japan, I will knock down trade barriers and cut red tape, making our supply chains stronger and creating opportunities for all British businesses.”

Highlighting a new deal that encourages co-operation on the trade of “critical minerals” such as copper, lithium and nickel, used in electronics and batteries, she said: “Yesterday I signed an agreement between the UK and Japan to improve the resilience of critical mineral supply chains and secure our supplies of key components used in advanced manufacturing industries like aerospace and automotive.

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“This is just one of the many ways we’re using Britain’s influence as an independent trading nation to benefit both our economy today and support high-paid jobs of the future.”

The event, which continues today, involves G7 nations Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and the UK as well as the European Union, Australia, Chile, India, Indonesia and Kenya.

UK exports reached a record high at £834billion in 2022.

And ministers believe the Government is well on its way to hitting a target of £1trillion of exports a year by the end of the decade.

Trade with Japan is worth £29billion to the UK economy each year.

The UK has also agreed a new deal allowing British cooked poultry meat products to reach Japanese tables, after exports were stopped because of outbreaks of avian flu.

Moy Park, one of the UK’s largest poultry meat producers with facilities in Grantham, Lincolnshire, will be among the first UK firms to benefit.

Beatriz Curran, international business development manager, said: “We are thankful to collaborate with industry and partners to reach this new market.”

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