Friday 31 August 2018 3:12 AM UTC
LONDON Aug 31: Britain’s treasury minister used the example of a UK bakery exporting naan, a kind of Indian flatbread, to India as a “go-getting” reshaping of post-Brexit Britain as a global trading nation.
Liz Truss, UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury, during a visit to Signature Flatbreads in Befordshire, said that a company in the east of England selling India its own traditional bread is a sign that the region can expand its exports base as the UK prepares to leave the European Union (EU).
“Selling naan breads in India from a company based in Dunstable would once have been unthinkable,” said Ms Truss.
“It’s this type of entrepreneurial, and go-getting, spirit that will help the UK make a success of this once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape Britain,” she said.
She noted that east of England exports are already worth 29 billion pounds per year, which is set for a boost after Brexit.
Ms Truss added: “We are in a terrific position to take advantage of the new trading horizons open to us after Brexit, and I know that businesses in Bedfordshire and beyond are raring to go.”
“The east of England is flourishing, and we are hugely committed to ensuring this region and its businesses step out into the world and benefit from our new independent trade policies.”
Signature Flatbreads, which exports its bread across Europe and the Middle East, was set up in India in 2008 and runs a factory in Nashik. In 2009, the company sold 50 per cent of its UK and India business to Ayrzta, which claims to be the world’s third-largest bakery.
During her visit to the factory in Dunstable, Ms Truss was on a mission to stress that businesses like Signature Flatbreads in Bedfordshire, and across the region, will be able to boost trade opportunities, bringing in more income and creating more jobs in the region once the UK leaves the EU.
She said the government is investing in the infrastructure that Bedfordshire needed and the new Woodside Link road had helped connect businesses to the Dunstable area, making it more practical to set up a business and transport goods. The investment has already generated 2 billion pounds for the local economy, the minister said.
“Successful exports mean the East of England economy was valued at more than 147 billion pounds, according to recent figures. This represents more than 8 per cent of UK total output,” the UK Treasury said in a statement.
“And a growing export economy has also helped bring unemployment to record low levels in the region at just 3 per cent,” it noted.
The minister was on tour of the region to spread the message that the government is delivering on the referendum result and is forging a new trading relationship with the rest of the world.
Earlier this week, as part of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s tour of Africa, the government had said that a UK trade agreement with South Africa and other African nations will be ready to enter into force as soon as the EU deal no longer applies to the UK.
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