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Trade with developing countries examined with stakeholders

20 March 2018

The International Trade Committee holds the opening session of its inquiry examining trade with developing countries. The inquiry is the second in a series examining the potential for new trade relationships with members of the Commonwealth.


Wednesday 21 March, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

At 10.00 am

  • Maximiliano Mendez-Parra, Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute
  • Jean Blaylock, Trade Justice Movement

At 11.00 am

  • Matt Hardy, Senior Policy Officer, Traidcraft
  • Helen Dennis, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Fairtrade Foundation

Unilateral trade preferences

The UK currently grants unilateral trade preferences to developing countries through the EU's generalised scheme of preferences. In addition, it also trades with some developing countries under the terms of the EU's Economic Partnership Agreements.

The Government had said that it will introduce its own unilateral trade preference schemes after Brexit and the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill, which was recently introduced to Parliament, provides the legislative framework for it do so. It has also said that it will seek replicate the EU's Economic Partnership Agreements.

First panel

In the first panel of the session, featuring representatives from the Overseas Development Institute and Trade Justice Movement, the Committee will examine the UK's current trading arrangements with developing countries within and outside the Commonwealth.

The value of UK imports from developing countries each year totals around £34 billion. The Committee will also examine current levels of UK FDI in developing countries, and co-ordination of trade policy with other policy areas.

Second panel

The second panel will feature representatives from Traidcraft and the Fairtrade Foundation, and will see the Committee explore these issues further.

The Committee will be using the opportunity to hear directly from a business that trades with developing countries to understand the current trading arrangements in place between the UK and those countries, and the possibilities for the future of those arrangements after Brexit.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto