The Engineering Council welcomes the announcement of a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), particularly the recognition of the essential role that professional services play in facilitating trade and investment across both goods and services sectors, as well as in promoting economic growth and business confidence.
Engineering services are highlighted as one of the professional services this agreement seeks to promote. The FTA aims to encourage the development of systems for the recognition of professional qualifications, including professional registration with the Engineering Council , and to better facilitate the international trade in professional services.
This agreement will also enable engineers to access visas to temporarily provide services in Australia, without being subject to a changing skilled occupations list, facilitating their mobility.
The deal was ‘agreed in principle’ by the Prime Minister and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in London in June, and negotiators have now finalised all chapters of the agreement. The final deal was signed in a virtual ceremony by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan on Thursday night and will now be laid in Parliament for a period of scrutiny.
The deal is expected to unlock £10.4 billion of additional trade, boosting the UK economy and increasing wages across the UK, while eliminating tariffs on 100% of UK exports.
It is a deal tailored for the UK economy with cutting-edge agreements in areas where Britain is a world leader, including in digital and tech, along with increased access to Australia for the UK’s powerhouse service sectors.
This agreement will help create new opportunities for businesses in both the UK and Australia.
The deal is also a gateway into the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region and will boost the UK’s bid to join CPTPP, one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering £8.4 trillion of GDP and 11 Pacific nations from Australia to Mexico.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Our UK-Australia trade deal is a landmark moment in the historic and vital relationship between our two commonwealth nations. This agreement is tailored to the UK’s strengths, and delivers for businesses, families, and consumers in every part of the UK – helping us to level up. We will continue to work together in addressing shared challenges in global trade, climate change and technological changes in the years ahead.
Today we demonstrate what the UK can achieve as an agile, independent sovereign trading nation. This is just the start as we get on the front foot and seize the seismic opportunities that await us on the world stage.”
CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers organisation Stephen Phipson said: “Achieving a new preferential trade arrangement with Australia is welcome for Britain’s manufacturers who will benefit from day one with tariff free access on goods sold and witness improvements in business mobility between the two countries.
With enhanced export opportunities for the UK’s medical device manufacturing sector and strengthened frameworks for bi-lateral co-operation on technical standards and regulations, there is much that the UK and Australia can work on in the future to boost exports from the UK. In the coming months, we look forward to working with Government to look at how the wider benefits of this new and closer relationship can be positioned and communicated with the manufacturing sector to maximise understanding of the opportunities available ahead of the deal coming into force in the future.”
Please see the full press release from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
For press enquiries:
Kate Webster, Engineering Council – firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 3206 0567
The Engineering Council was incorporated by Royal Charter in November 1981 to regulate the engineering profession in the UK. This is our 40th year of setting and maintaining standards, to ensure that society continues to have confidence and trust in the engineering profession.
The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit: www.engc.org.uk