'Australia, UK confirm efffort to sign free trade deal: Julie Bishop' Reuters
Australia and Britain are ready to agree to a free trade deal as soon as circumstances allow, Australian minister for foreign affairs Julie Bishop said.
British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, hosting his first bilateral meeting since being appointed to the role earlier in July, said he had discussed a future trade deal with his visiting Australian counterpart.
"Both governments stand ready to agree a free trade agreement as soon as circumstances allow," Bishop told reporters at a British-Australia meeting in Edinburgh.
Britain wants to secure free trade deals with new partners following its departure from the European Union in March 2019.
The United Kingdom is Australia's second largest source of foreign investment — $481.4 billion in 2017 — and the fifth largest two-way trading partner, with $27 billion in goods and services in 2017.
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