Great Britain and Asia share deep historic links dating back centuries. Merchants of old took significant risks to cross great expanses to seek opportunities in distant lands to offer and exchange commodities in the pursuit of wealth. Although such practices continue to this day, albeit through more modern and technologically sophisticated means, the goal remains the same – the pursuit of prosperity.
Today, much uncertainty looms for the global economy. The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union saw exports fall by £20 billion in 2021. The US-China Trade War and the unfolding situation in Eastern Europe will likely lead to further declines in trade as sanctions continue to have ripple effects on the international supply chain. To make up for these unexpected developments in geopolitics, new frontiers for trade need to be established, old partnerships revitalised, all to provide UK-based businesses access to more markets in pursuit of greater opportunities.
Possible avenues lie in waiting as the United Kingdom is in the process of ascending into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The UK has also shown much interest in another free trade pact – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that came into effect on January 1, 2022, which could add as much as $500 billion annually to world trade by 2030. Will these developments truly be beneficial for the British economy and her businesses?
To provide insight into these developments, the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI) and the Chinese Information and Advice Centre under the auspices of the Global Chinese Economic & Technology Summit (formerly known as the World Chinese Economic Summit), will host a forum with a panel of experts who will discuss the implications of these free trade agreements on the United Kingdom. This forum is a platform for the business community to seek clarity on the subject, especially those with trade and investment aspirations in Asia, and allow them to make informed decisions.