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Britain's New Trade Envoys: Ian Botham?

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Boris Johnson has appointed ten new Trade Envoys to boost British business overseas. We take a closer look at who these envoys are and what their role entails.

The government has announced 10 new trade envoys, including Lord Ian Botham as envoy to Australia

What is a Trade Envoy?

Trade Envoys are parliamentarians appointed by the Prime Minister. They are drawn from both Houses and across the political spectrum. And notably, the roles are unpaid and voluntary. With these new appointments, we now have 36 Trade Envoys covering 76 different countries.

What is the role of a Trade Envoy?

To promote UK trade, drive economic growth, and encourage inward investment to help level up every part of the UK. They use their skills, experience, and market knowledge to boost British businesses. Their focus is to help UK companies find new export and investment opportunities and promote UK trade in their allocated market. 

Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands, said:

“From Norway to New Zealand, Pakistan to Brazil, our Trade Envoys will help increase UK trade with some of the world’s most exciting and dynamic markets and showcase the UK as a great place to invest.”

Who has been appointed?

You’ll probably recognise at least one name on this list…

  • Lord Ian Botham - Australia

  • Baroness Hoey - Ghana

  • Stephen Timms MP - Switzerland and Liechtenstein

  • David Mundell MP - New Zealand

  • Mark Eastwood MP - Pakistan

  • Marco Longhi MP - Brazil

  • Conor Burns MP - Canada

  • Lord Walney [John Woodcock] - Tanzania

  • Felicity Buchan MP - Iceland and Norway

  • Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP - Cameroon

Why Botham?

Botham has a good relationship with Australians, in part from the time spent playing the Ashes series. He also has business ties with the country, having launched his own range of Australian wines in 2001. Back in 2000, Botham featured in a series of adverts for English beef and lamb.

Do Trade Envoys really boost business?

The figures certainly suggest they do. In 2020/21, Trade Envoys supported over £16 billion of UK exports. Exports are central to the government’s ambition to level up the UK and build the economy. Research estimates that exports supported 6.5 million jobs across the UK in 2016.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said:

“By boosting exports, promoting inward investment and creating high-value, high-paying jobs, our Trade Envoys will help us build back better from Covid-19, ensuring every part of the UK benefits from our trade strategy.”
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