British trade minister meeting Tharman, Lim Hng Kiang today

Dr Fox is involved in fashioning Britain's exit from the EU.
Dr Fox is involved in fashioning Britain's exit from the EU.

Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox will meet Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Trade and Industry (Trade) Minister Lim Hng Kiang today.

Dr Fox, who is involved in fashioning Britain's exit from the European Union, started his visit yesterday and leaves tomorrow.

He will also meet Singapore and British businesses, and will deliver speeches today at a British Chamber of Commerce lunch event and at a reception hosted by the British Department of International Trade Singapore in the evening.

Bloomberg noted last week that Britain and Europe have long- term economic interests in a fair Brexit deal, covering a wide range of relations from trade to financial services, and they want negotiations to proceed smoothly.

Last December, Reuters reported that Dr Fox, who campaigned for a Brexit vote in the June referendum, showed he was looking for a flexible approach to trade, with the aim of clinching "the best deals for the British economy".

Mr Scott Wightman, the British High Commissioner to Singapore, said Dr Fox will use the trip to"underline Britain's commitment to free trade, and will reiterate the message that Britain is open for business and the most attractive destination for investment, trade and business in Europe".

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the BBC late last month that Singapore will sign a deal with Britain after it exits the EU.

Bilateral trade between Singapore and Britain stood at $11.5 billion last year, 1.36 per cent of the Republic's total international trade.

Rachael Boon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2017, with the headline 'British trade minister meeting Tharman, Lim Hng Kiang today'. Print Edition | Subscribe