The Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham and Minister of State for International Trade, Greg Hands MP, visited Paris last week to meet with strategic business partners and work with French counterparts to strengthen the trade relationship between the UK and France.
France is the UK’s 5th largest trading partner. Over the last 20 years, bilateral trade has almost doubled from £42.9 billion in 2000 to £85.6 billion in 2019. Whilst in Paris, Greg Hands MP met with the French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester, to discuss how the UK and France can continue to lead the world in trade and sustainability. Issues that were discussed between the pair, to name just a few, included the movement of business professionals, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and bilateral trade issues.
Alongside this, Greg Hands MP visited a variety of French businesses to discuss opportunities for cross-Channel trade, investment and innovation. Most notably, the MP visited Station F, the world’s largest start-up campus, helping entrepreneurs bring their ambitious ideas to life with over 1,000 start-ups, over 30 programmes and a full range of services.
Other businesses the MP for Chelsea and Fulham met with ranged from Capgemini, an important contributor and strategic supplier to the UK Government, creating 1,500 UK jobs, to Airbus Helicopters, a pioneering rotorcraft manufacturer that offers services across more than 150 countries worldwide.
Furthermore, Greg Hands MP held a roundtable with French business organisations including MEDEF and CPME to discuss the UK’s commitment to support French businesses trading across the Channel and how to grow trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
Commenting, Greg Hands MP said:
“The UK and France remain inextricably linked through geographical proximity and shared history, our values and beliefs, economic and business links, human and cultural ties and fundamental interests.
Our aim is to help companies grow in these challenging times and to continue to trade with their closest geographical partners. France is a key European partner and ally. I look forward to further collaboration between our two nations to help our bilateral economic relationship go from strength to strength and support prosperity on both sides of the Channel.”