The Scottish Chamber of Commerce (SCC) was yesterday named as the representative for Scotland on a new Strategic Trade Advisory Group established to advise the UK government on future trade deals with the likes of the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
The group, which is chaired by trade policy minister George Hollingbery, will also address issues including the UK’s potential accession to the Trans-Pacific partnership, a group of 11 countries around the Pacific rim.
Speaking at a Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) event in Edinburgh yesterday, Hollingbery stressed that future free trade agreements will be negotiated in the interests of the whole of the UK with input from Scottish businesses and the Scottish Government.
“Scotland’s exports are going from strength to strength and Scottish businesses will play a major role in helping to forge stronger trading relationships as we leave the European Union,” he said.
“We are committed to a transparent and inclusive trade policy that benefits the whole of the UK and we have made sure Scottish interests influence our trade negotiations through a permanent seat on our advisory group.”
Hollingbery urged Scottish businesses to feed their views about future trade policy in to their local Chamber.
He said an event for businesses in Edinburgh last September revealed strong support for new free trade agreements, which would help expand access to key global markets for Scottish exports and businesses.
Liz Cameron, chief executive of SCC, said it was essential that Scottish businesses have a voice on the future of the UK’s trade policy.
“As part of our commitment to the Strategic Trade Advisory Group, we will represent the business views from across the Scottish economy as the UK seeks to secure new trade agreements and ensure Scottish businesses are ready and able to take full advantage of expanding their trading footprint in markets around the globe.”
The UK government added that it will “continue to work closely with the Scottish Government, through regular policy roundtables, official meetings and public consultations to make sure any future trade deal works for the whole of the UK”.