Reacting to the publication of the 2023 Integrated Review, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:
“The renewed commitments to tackling climate change, sustainable development, and economic empowerment of women are all welcome in the Review.
“On Europe, the Refresh takes account of the impact of the War in Ukraine, for both the economy and supply chain security. UK businesses stand ready to assist in the reconstruction of Ukraine with investment, and offers of technical and business expertise.
“It also heartening to see improvements in the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU being identified as a priority. The prospect of improved relations with the EU could help to maximise potential of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement for the UK.
“On Indo-Pacific relations, the Review points to trade as one of the key focuses. With the UK in the final stages of CPTPP accession, there is hope among UK firms that this could deliver new export and investment opportunities.
“But we know without supply chain security this will be more difficult – the UK urgently needs to secure reliable sources of semi-conductors, related raw materials and other components for manufacturing.
“For that reason, we look forward to engaging with Government on the forthcoming UK Supply Chains and Import Strategy, and the Critical Minerals Resilience Task and Finish group.
“On science, Artificial Intelligence and technology, the ambition of the Review is sound, and needs to be supported by the right growth and export finance strategies for the UK to make the most of its strengths in these areas.
“The four pillars of the Review include building resilience and shaping the international environment. We believe that pro-growth trade and investment policies will be critical to achieving this, while also generating prosperity across the UK.”