UK plans to stimulate trade with developing economies

file image. Liz Truss, Britain’s Minister for International Trade and Minister for Women and Equality, outside Downing Street, London, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nichols

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will unveil a plan on Monday to stimulate trade with 70 developing economies through lower tariffs and simplification rules in a fresh attempt to promote greater freedom of trade after regaining control of its trade policy after Britain leaves the European Union.

The government will detail the trade scheme for developing countries in an advisory document.

The plan builds on the existing EU program the UK participated in before leaving the bloc at the end of last year, and remained in effect while the new initiative was being developed.

Trade Minister Liz Truss said: “Now that the UK is an independent trading nation, we have a huge opportunity to do things differently, and take a more liberal and pro-trade approach, which leads to growth and opportunity.”

The scheme seeks to further reduce bureaucratic trade barriers between the UK and developing countries, as well as countries classified as low or lower middle income, such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Aside from lowering tariffs on goods entering the UK, the program seeks to simplify the “rules of origin” that define where a product is made through the cross-border supply chain, for tax purposes.

The United Kingdom said it considered similar programs in Canada, the United States, Japan and the European Union when designing its new scheme. The government is seeking input from companies and other relevant groups in the next eight weeks.

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(Reporting by William James; Editing in Spanish by Gabriel Boren)

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