Earlier this month, I chaired the most recent meeting of the BRI & CPEC APPG: ‘Britain, Brexit and the BRI’. As we prepare to leave the world’s largest single trading bloc, I asked our panel: how should post-Brexit Britain respond to the world’s biggest ongoing infrastructural project, China’s Belt and Road Initiative? Popularly cited estimates of China’s intended investment in the BRI range from 1 trillion to 8 trillion dollars. Some have even dubbed the project ‘Globalisation 2.0’.
This is a project on an unprecedented scale, yet UK awareness and understanding of it is very limited. During the meeting, I stressed the importance of increasing UK awareness and understanding of this project and its implications for the future of international trade.
UK exports to China currently stand at £22.3 billion, our sixth largest export market. To support British businesses overseas, I believe that parliament must do more to scrutinise and develop our global economic relationships – my work with the BRI & CPEC APPG is guided by this belief.