The UK has underlined its commitment to strengthening its international trade ties by conducting talks with a number of key Asian partners over the last few weeks.
Earlier this month, then-business secretary Sajid Javid - who has since been succeeded in his role by Greg Clark due to new prime minister Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle - commenced preliminary trade talks with India, meeting key Indian finance and commerce ministers during a series of discussions in Delhi.
The aim of these talks was for the UK to sound out its counterparts in India over the prospect of a trade agreement that can be put in place as soon as possible once the UK leaves the European Union, as well as to underline the fact that Britain remains open for business despite the turmoil and uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote.
Subsequent to this, minister of state at the Department for International Trade Lord Price attended a G20 trade ministers' meeting in Shanghai, during which he was able to outline the UK's continued outward-looking approach to trade, as well as the government's desire to retain comprehensive trade links with the EU and with the rest of the world despite Brexit.
Several pledges were made during the meeting, including a commitment to improving communication on excess capacity in sectors such as steel, recognising the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement to cut red tape and lower trade costs, and agreeing to push for a new agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods.
Lord Price said: "A number of countries have already expressed interest in the idea of trade talks with the UK. We face the exciting prospect of continuing trading relations with Europe and enhancing trading relationships east and west, providing us with an opportunity to be a super-connected trading hub."