UK Eyes Improving LATAM Trade Agreements

U.K. businesses seeking post-Brexit opportunities beyond the eurozone have abundant possibilities in Central America, a region whose residents once bought one-third of their imports from the U.K. but now get less than 1 percent there, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

“The opportunity is to shift the dial with British business in a significant way because we at the moment don’t do as well as we could,” Jonathan Knott, the U.K.’s new trade commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, told FT.

U.K. exports to Central America could include, according to FT: green technology, agricultural technology, education technology, life sciences products and healthcare products as well as military hardware and oil.

The hurdles FT listed include: the lingering dispute between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands; Mexico’s trade agreements with the United States and Canada; and Brazil’s lack of trading history with the U.K.

Also, according to experts quoted by FT, business leaders in Central and South America have concluded business leaders from France and other countries have shown more interest than their British counterparts in long-term relationships.

While pursuing new export opportunities, British companies can expect some help from the British government, which in late 2020 coordinated with major banks to increase the funds available for export-related borrowing.

In February, the British government created a fund valued at 20 million pounds (approximately $28 million) to help small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) navigate Brexit.



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