Forging new and strengthening existing trade relationships on the international stage is a key priority for our country. As a member of the International Trade Select Committee I have had many conversations in Westminster, with constituents and local businesses about the sorts of trading arrangements we want here in the UK. As the local MP of course I want to create opportunities for Warrington South including access to a range of skilled and well paid jobs.
That is why I created the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China’s Belt and Road Initiative – which plans to invest as much as $8 trillion in infrastructure projects in 78 countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia – is one of the world’s most ambitious development programmes. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the biggest single BRI programme and the largest global investment project in any Commonwealth country, estimated at $62billion in Pakistan alone.
I founded the group to raise awareness of these projects among politicians, policymakers and the British business community. At this week’s event, we launched a joint inquiry which will work to achieve this outcome. I want to support a Britain that is outward-looking and engaged with international trade. I see the work of this APPG as part of that effort.
This week’s meeting heard from business leaders and representatives from China, Pakistan and the UK. They explored how British businesses can pin down opportunities in BRI and CPEC and the challenges they may face, raising a number of key issues for future discussion.
Locally, I am also working to explore opportunities for Warrington South. I am proud to be working with Warrington Business Exchange to bring these discussions and events to our great town. Further details on these will be published soon.
As the MP for Warrington South, I am keen to involve local business’ and civic leaders from my constituency and UK-wide in this inquiry. If you are interested, please get in touch.