PM embarks on UK trade mission

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The PM has embarked on a new trade mission to Asia

The prime minister David Cameron has embarked on a new foreign trade mission that aims to bolster connections between UK businesses and their counterparts in south-east Asia.

It is the first trade mission of the new parliament and the PM is eager to ensure it goes off without a hitch, as the benefits of enhanced trade links with nations including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia should not be underestimated.

Indeed, a total of 31 businesses from each of the countries will be represented at the talks, with trade deals valued at an estimated £750 million now on the table.

The move forms part of the government's ongoing efforts to increase UK exports to more than £1 trillion a year by the end of the decade and to help an additional 100,000 UK companies to start exporting their goods and services overseas.

Mr Cameron stated ahead of his visit: "Over the next 20 years, 90 per cent of global growth is expected to come from outside Europe and Britain must be poised to take advantage.

"That's why I'm delighted to be taking British businesses to this vast and dynamic market, securing deals worth over £750 million and creating opportunities for hard-working people back at home."

The prime minister added that the deals being struck as part of this latest trade mission will remove considerable barriers to many businesses operating with new overseas partners in the coming years.

In addition to the new business links being forged as part of the trade delegation, several major overseas infrastructure projects are also being supported by the prime minister during his travels, with opportunities for British firms in schemes like the delivery of new sewage treatment systems in Jakarta worth £400 million.

He also highlighted the progress that continues to be made in delivering widespread international trade agreements as part of these tours, with the prime minister citing further developments in the elimination of tariffs on a wide range of information, communication and technology products that could lead to a boost of £6 billion for the UK when finalised in December.

"It's further proof of how we can deliver economic security for hard-working people here in Britain by being an open, trade-minded nation and engaging with the world," Mr Cameron concluded.

Enhancing the ability of UK businesses to promote foreign trade and to develop strong links with overseas firms will stand the UK as a whole in excellent stead in the coming years, ensuring increased market access, more consumers and a wider selection of supply chain and business partners for companies to make use of.