Mandelson to set out £27bn export gap with BRIC countries

Peter Mandelson will today outline a £27bn export gap with the BRIC countries. The finding comes from research by ippr on Britain's place in the global economy.

Sky News and the Financial Times report that Peter Mandelson will later today outline a £27 billion export gap with the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The finding comes from a piece of research that my colleagues Sarah Mulley, Amna Silim, and I have done for ippr on the future of globalisation and Britain’s place in the global economy.

The chart below – part of a presentation to be made later today by ippr Director, Nick Pearce, prior to Peter Mandelson’s keynote speech on globalisation – shows the actual volume of Britain’s exports to the four BRIC countries compared to the potential volume if export performance matched Britain’s global share of trade.

Put simply, Britain contributes to 3.7% of global trade but makes up just 1% of China’s imports, and between 2% and 3% of imports to Brazil, Russia, and India. The result is that Britain has an export gap of:

– £1.8bn with Brazil;

– £1.8bn with Russia;

– £3.2bn with India; and

– £19.8bn with China.

In his speech later today, which follows an appearance on Newsnight last night (15’35”), Peter Mandelson will reflect on his time as EU Trade Commissioner and British Business Secretary and set out what he sees as the social democratic tests that should be applied to the negotiation and regulation of global trade. He will say:

“The financial crisis has added another layer of complexity and political reaction to this. Because it seems to exemplify for many the volatile and unaccountable power of global markets. And the extent to which our lives, our jobs, our pensions can end up as collateral damage in their periodic crises.

“And while it is an understatement to say that it is a little more complicated than that, it still captures a very real political anxiety that things have somehow got beyond our control. That globalization is something that is being done to us than for us, and that far from celebrating it, we all need protecting from it.”

Peter Mandelson’s speech and the presentation on Britain’s place in the world will appear on the ippr website later today.

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