No limit to our trade ambitions – CBI

Opening the second day of the CBI’s first International Trade Conference, CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, spoke of the opportunity for the UK to draw on its entrepreneurial strengths to be an exporting powerhouse in 2021.

Full transcript below.


Welcome everyone to day two of the CBI’s virtual International Trade Conference.

Yesterday, we heard from Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss her Permanent Secretary, Antonia Romeo, and a host of senior leaders, policy experts, and trade representatives on the state of global trade and investment and opportunities open to the UK as it charts – for the first time in over 40 years – its own independent course on trade.

We have another unrivalled line-up of panels and discussion sessions for you today. Starting with a deep dive on what I think is one of the most important themes of our conference that is leveraging the power of the UK’s trade agenda to support business growth and opportunity for all.


In the wake of the pandemic, we know just how incredibly tough global economic conditions are right now. The WTO’s latest figures project a 9.2% drop in goods trade this year.

This marks a historically sharp decline. And limiting it is also dependent on continued, concerted global efforts from both government and business to keep the world open and trading.


So, as the hosts of COP26 with Italy and president of the G7, supported by the CBI chairing the B7 group, the UK has both a huge