The UK and Australia have finalised an agreement for a trade deal, the UK’s first major free trade agreement negotiated from scratch with a country without an existing deal with the EU.
Services account for 80% of the UK economy, and the agreement recognises this. It aims at setting a new global standard for trade in services and delivering real improvements to the framework for financial and related professional services trade between the two countries, critical to meeting shared objectives for a post-pandemic and sustainable recovery. The agreement will help to build on the £5.4 billion of UK services exports to Australia, making up 55.8% of total UK exports to the country, which will be a core driver of new high-value sustainable jobs in both countries.
Commenting on the news, Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said,
This agreement is a substantial achievement, demonstrating that the UK has the ambition and expertise to negotiate real commercial benefits through an independent trade and investment policy. The deal is also an essential milestone in the UK’s strategic pivot towards the Asia-Pacific region and its ambition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“The deal shows real ambition to improve global services trade. We hope that this agreement will place the UK and Australia at the cutting edge of trade innovation.”
Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Australia was £13.9 billion in 2020. Financial, insurance and pension services accounted for 39.6% of all UK services exports to Australia, at a value of almost £2.2bn.