Emerging Markets

As we leave the EU, we have a once-in-a-generation chance to go global. Since coming to Parliament eight years ago, I have been campaigning for a new model of aid, trade and security. By refocusing our aid money around a comprehensive trade and security deal with some of the world's fastest growing markets, we can develop exciting new opportunities for UK services and technology. We have the once-in-a-generation chance to help feed, fuel and heal the world.

Here are two of my big ideas:

  • Aid, Trade and Security (Development Partnerships): For too long many have felt that the 0.7% international aid target means their hard-earned money is not always being spent wisely. That's we need a new model of international aid spending, integrating it more closely with our security and trade agendas to get maximum value for Britain. Using a combined aid, trade and security strategy, we can build even closer ties with the fastest growing emerging markets and help SMEs up and down the country export their products and services across the globe.
  • Vaccines. All over the world people are still dying from a lack of basic vaccinations. And yet the UK has one of the strongest hubs of Life Sciences research in the world. That's why we need a new programme to join up UK expertise with patients across the world, helping further develop ties with some of our oldest and closest trading partners. By exporting our services and research, post-Brexit Britain can use our soft power to change the world for the better. As Minister, I opened the impressive new Life Sciences facility at Porton Down, which is making a significant contribution to the local economy and to UK life sciences – a sector which has seen £6 billion of investment and created 17,000 jobs since 2011.  Not only will it help to drive the innovation and growth of the future, it will also produce life-enhancing treatments for the benefit of NHS patients. Such places should receive more investment and support.

Background

I was elected to Parliament in May 2010 after a 15-year career in and around the Cambridge cluster supporting high growth businesses. Consequently, I have written and spoken widely on the potential of Britain's science and innovation economy to support a sustainable economic recovery, unlocking huge trade and inward investment opportunities in fast emerging global markets.

One of my first jobs in government was as Trade Envoy to the Philippines - the trade delegation I have brought with me to the islands represented some of the best of UK capability in the oil and gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.  I was proud to be part of the effort to sell our goods to global markets and show that this Government is backing British business.

I have been fortunate enough to visit Lebanon twice since I was elected to Parliament, seeing first-hand the work being carried out by the Department for International Development, Save the Children and the Gates Foundation to help Syrian refugees. UK aid has helped transform hundreds of thousands of lives. In 2017, 149,000 children have already been supported to gain a decent education and 312,000 people now have sustainable access to clean water and/or sanitation.

As we leave the EU, I believe we must seriously up our game at building comprehensive partnerships with strategically important countries, like Lebanon, where so much of our wider insecurity will be shaped in the coming years. Our world-class commitment to aid is a vital part of this cooperation, as is defence and security support, but they must be complemented by building creative trading partnerships that export the best of British and make us the partner of choice for developing economies.

Fundamentally, I believe that British foreign policy should be based on the three pillars of trade, aid and security. Using the UK’s great strength as a leading knowledge economy, we can help export our skills and services and change the world around us for the better; providing security and economic opportunity for emerging markets around the world.

Links to coverage of my work in this space:

Daily Telegraph 05.11.17 “Let's make science funding part of the aid budget – and help British tech save the world.”

Bright Blue 19.12.17 “The need for a new foreign policy based on aid, trade and security.”