The National Childrenswear Association (NCWA) has welcomed news that the Government will preserve duty free access to the UK market, currently utilised by the world’s poorest counties.
It was uncertain as to whether duty free access would continue post-Brexit. However, a joint statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department for International Trade and the Department for International Development, pledges to maintain the access.
The statement confims that 48 of the world’s least developed countries included in the list will continue to benefit from free access, despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Moreover, new ways of improving access for other countries will be explored.
The news is welcomed by the childrenswear industry, as currently 45 per cent of clothing and textile imports come from the countries on the list, with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Indonisia all important suppliers of childrenswear to the UK market.
David Hull, chairman of NCWA, says, “Concern has been expressed by a number of NCWA members since the vote to leave the EU about the position of these countries and whether duty free access would continue post-Brexit. Whilst we still have to see all the details of the plans, news of the Government’s commitment will help reassure many in the industry.”