New era of free trade between the UK and Australia signals positive global opportunities according to BFA Chief Executive

The British Footwear Association (BFA) is discussing new opportunities with its members in the Australian footwear market following the news of a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Announced on June 14, 2021, the newly negotiated trade agreement is the first to be completed since the UK departed from the European Union and is being viewed as a positive sign of further deals to come, including a new agreement with India.

The UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement formally removes tariffs on £4.3 billion of UK exports, including footwear, and outlines procedures for digital trade and innovation that will benefit both countries. British footwear manufacturers will also benefit from cheaper imports of vital materials from Australia.

Lucy Reece Raybould, Chief Executive Officer of the British Footwear Association, says: “This is a great opportunity for BFA members to explore a market that admires British quality products, appreciates British style and share similar values in terms of quality manufacturing. I would advise all BFA members and those in the wider footwear sector to read-up on the benefits of the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement and begin exploring this market as a potential for business growth, innovation and opportunity.”

British businesses already operating in Australia may also benefit from digital progress made by the “gold standard deal,” including the world’s first ever ‘innovation chapter’ to save UK businesses from the cost of establishing servers in Australia, all while maintaining the free flow of data to stringent personal data protection standards.

Elsewhere, the deal is expected to slash red tape for entrepreneurs and small business owners, which includes the 13,000 SMEs across the UK who already export to Australia. According to the Department for International Trade (DIT) this will “deliver quicker export times and ensure small businesses have access to new intelligence that will better allow them to seize the opportunities created by the deal”.

Looking ahead, the BFA is welcoming dialogue among its members focusing on new ways of capitalising on the deal, working with Australian suppliers, and finding new avenues for British footwear manufacturers and brands to sell their products ‘Down Under’.

To facilitate this, a special webinar in the BFA’s ‘Going Global’ series will focus specifically on Australia on July 21, 2021, welcoming Joanne Freeman, Consul General for Queensland and Northern Territory and Director for Trade, Australia and New Zealand, for an informative conversation about future opportunities for footwear businesses.

More information can be found here.

The UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement also paves the way for the UK to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership – one of the largest free trade areas in the world, of which Australia is a key member. This could allow the UK to gain access to an agreement that cuts tariffs on 95% of goods traded between members, including significant economies like Japan, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore.

“By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle classes will be in Asia, creating vast new opportunities for British businesses. The UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement is a potential gateway to a whole raft of benefits for BFA members and could help to expand the reach of British footwear across the world,” adds Reece Raybould.

Further insights into international trade for the footwear sector can be found via the British Footwear Association’s Membership Resources Hub, here.

BFA Members can sign up for the Going Global – Australia Webinar, here.

For further information, please contact:

Laura Gibson
Membership and Communications Team

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