Alcohol deals 'worth £100m' unlocked after trade talks

Alcohol deals ‘worth £100m’ unlocked after trade talks


The UK government says it has unlocked export markets worth £100million for the alcohol industry after negotiating the end of trade barriers with several African and South American countries.

However, the Scotch Whiskey Association (SWA) says ongoing trade talks with India are a “once in a generation” opportunity to unlock business on an even larger scale.

On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Kemi Badenoch visited the Glenkinchie distillery in East Lothian, which is owned by drinks giant Diageo.

The Department of International Trade says it has recently taken action to remove a number of barriers.

In Argentina, customs duties on whiskey have been reduced from 35% to 20% following negotiations.

The department said Morocco had scrapped a 48% tariff that had been mistakenly imposed on British spirits and Angola had canceled a planned whiskey tax.

He also said alcohol produced in the UK had been released after being blocked at Tunisian customs.

Ms Badenoch said: “Every week we remove a trade barrier somewhere in the world.

“From whiskey in Argentina to gin in Angola, we’re cutting red tape and opening up access to new markets and new customers.

“With these trade hurdles gone and more to follow, my message to UK businesses is clear: make the most of the huge global appetite for your fantastic products and sell them around the world.

“As we line up deals with huge markets around the world, including India and the CPTPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), I look forward to celebrating the even greater victories ahead of us.”

According to industry figures for 2021, Scotch whiskey exports increased by 19% to a total value of £4.51 billion.

Ms Badenoch said Brexit allowed the UK government to have its own place at the trade negotiating table, as the European Union often failed to offer what was needed.

She told the PA news agency: “This is something that would have been done before by the EU and very often we didn’t get what we needed.

“Now we are able to control our trade policy much more – so that’s great news.”

Mark Kent, Managing Director of SWA, said: “Achieving an agreement with India to reduce the 150% tariff on Scotch Whiskey is the industry’s top international trade priority.

“We want to see a deal done, but not just any deal.

“To serve the industry, any deal must open up the market to more Scotch whiskey producers, which in turn will generate hundreds of new jobs across the UK, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional exports and will boost investment and income in India.

“The ongoing negotiations are a unique opportunity to give more Scottish distillers the opportunity to do business in India. This is the scale of the price offered.

“We look forward to working with the Commerce Secretary to ensure continued growth for the Scotch whiskey industry in India and other key global markets.”

Ewan Andrew, President of Global Supply Chain at Diageo, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to Glenkinchie to see how we are investing in the future growth of Scotch whisky, with all the powerful benefits economic benefits that this brings to Scotland. and the UK.


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