The UK government has published its negotiating objectives for free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, with talks on each agreement to begin shortly.
Commenting on the news, Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,
The UK‘s services sector is world leading and a national asset. The negotiation of a new trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand presents a huge opportunity to raise the bar for addressing services issues in trade agreements. Achieving an ambitious agreement on services trade should be a key objective for these negotiations and we look forward to supporting the government to reach this goal.”
Services form a major part of the Australian and UK economies accounting for 70% and 80% of their respective GDPs. The UK is Australia’s primary overseas market for financial services exports; the UK is Australia’s equal-second largest export destination for legal services.
There are strong people-to-people links between the two countries which help to strengthen the existing relationship. Australia has the largest UK migrant group in the world (1.2 million, larger than that in the EU-27) and there are about one million Australian visits to the UK every year.
Twenty-four per cent of New Zealand’s overall trade volumes comprise services. Services form a major part of the UK economy accounting for 80% of its GDP. The UK holds the fourth largest stock of foreign direct investment in New Zealand and has the fifth largest stock of New Zealand investment overseas.