In this page
- Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS
TPAG members and stakeholders
- Andy Richardson (Food and Drink Board Wales)
- Catherine Smith (Hybu Cig Cymru)
- Debbie Laubach (MediWales)
- Henry Clarke (RDP Law)
- Leighton Jenkins (CBI)
- Louisa Petchey (Public Health Wales)
- Llyr ap Gareth (FSB)
- Madeleine Pinder (Aerospace Wales)
- Paul Brooks (Institute of Export)
- Paul Slevin (Chambers Wales)
- Richard Rumbelow (Make UK)
Welcome and introductions
Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy, opened the meeting by thanking the group members and outlining their role in helping to shape Welsh Government trade policy by providing expert input on how we can maximise the opportunities, and minimise the threats, that free trade agreements could bring to Wales and the Welsh economy.
The minister outlined the case for international trade and recognised the benefits that new free trade agreements can bring to Wales whilst also noting that it is vital to ensure that UK government understands that new free trade agreements should not undermine the Welsh Government’s ability to pursue its own ambitions or to regulate domestically.
The minister outlined that any trade negotiations with the rest of the world must be fully compatible with the deal we now have with the EU and must not harm the UK/EU trading relationship.
The minister explained that in Wales we consider trade policy through a Wellbeing of Future Generations lens, rather than in purely economic terms, and trade agreements create international obligations which bind future generations.
Update on trade deals under negotiation by the UK government
The Welsh Government’s Director for International Relations and Trade provided an overview of the work to date regarding the UK government’s free trade agreements, including the negotiations that have concluded, those that have started and those about to commence. It was highlighted that the Welsh Government is engaging with the UK government and inputting into discussions on international trade policy and trade negotiations.
Round table discussion on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
Welsh Government’s Head of Trade Policy provided an update on the UK government’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trading bloc. The discussion covered:
- Rules of origin arrangements and whether they are likely to benefit UK businesses
- The potential impact of other countries joining CPTPP in future
- The potential implications of the UK diverging from EU regulations by acceding into CPTPP, given the EU is Wales’s biggest exporting market
- Public Health Wales is developing a health impact assessment for Wales if the UK accedes to the CPTPP.
- The different standards (e.g. labour rights) across member states of CPTTP and its potential impact on Welsh businesses.
Round table discussion on Switzerland and Turkey
A Welsh Government official provided an update on the UK government’s trade discussions with Switzerland. The discussion covered:
- Switzerland as a trusted trade partner and how it should be a priority market for the UK, especially the services sector.
- The UK government should aim for an ambitious trade deal with Switzerland – the current agreement only covers goods so it is important that the services sectors are included in an enhanced trade deal.
- Opportunities to expand the exports of Welsh red meat to Switzerland
A Welsh Government official provided an update on the UK government’s trade discussions with Turkey. The discussion covered:
- Turkey’s importance as a global base for supply chains, especially in the automotive sector.
- Concerns about human rights issues, including labour rights, in Turkey.
The minister closed the meeting by thanking attendees for their wide-raging contributions to discussions. The group will next meet in March 2023.