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David Cameron urges trade with 'far-flung lands' ahead of Asia trade mission

Published 24/07/2015

David Cameron will visit South East Asia next week on a trade mission
David Cameron will visit South East Asia next week on a trade mission

Britain must grab opportunities to trade with "far-flung lands" David Cameron has said, as he warned against an over-reliance on doing business within Europe.

The Prime Minister will visit South East Asia next week on a trade mission with a number of businesspeople as part of efforts to make the UK the most "open, trade-minded nation" in the world.

Britain needs to change its approach to trading and investment as some European markets struggle while parts of the globe are enjoying greater business success, Mr Cameron said in an article for the Daily Mail.

He said: "For too long, Britain has seen the weather-vane pointing to these far-flung lands, but continued to rely on our European neighbours for trade and investment."

Arguing the benefits of looking further afield for trade and investment, he highlighted the fact that currently a quarter of all British jobs are linked to exports and a third of people in the UK work for foreign-owned firms.

Mr Cameron said he had put competitiveness and cutting European regulations at the top of his list when it comes to the renegotiation of Britain's membership of the EU.

"With some of our neighbours' economies stagnating and markets further afield roaring ahead, we need to change our approach. We need to go to the ends of the earth to sell our wares - to recapture the outward-looking, enterprising spirit that made us great," he said.

"I want us to be nothing less than the modern world's most open, trade-minded nation. To do that, we must tap into markets outside Europe; to look to the Commonwealth and beyond. There's plenty of potential."

The Prime Minister said that by the end of the year he wants at least one member of his Cabinet to have visited the key markets around the world that he is confident "will help us to achieve our target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020".

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