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UK sets sights on new trade partners in Africa, Asia

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The U.K. government has set out new plans to invest in some of the world's poorest countries in a bid to secure trading partners of the future.

Britain's Department for International Development announced today that it is to support growing economies in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa by working with governments to help grow local businesses, increase jobs and develop infrastructure.

The new commitment comes as the U.K. seeks to develop its global position, building new trading relationships outside of the EU. This week British Prime Minister Theresa May has been traveling the world, including to the U.S. and Turkey, in an effort to drum up enthusiasm from prospective trade partners post-Brexit.


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The department's 'Economic Development Strategy' places particular emphasis on securing the City of London's role as a leading financial center and seeks to formulate new ties with emerging economies.

The strategy builds on previous commitments made by the U.K., which have helped almost 70 million people access financial services.

It also aims to deal with global issues such as population growth, mass migration, climate change and corruption – issues which have hung heavy in recent political debate.

Priti Patel, International Development Secretary, said that the strategy was "not only the right thing to do; it is firmly in Britain's own national interest."

"With dramatic increases in population across Africa and Asia, developing nations must act fast to create jobs and investment, which is why Global Britain is leading a more open, more modern approach to development through our economic development to help the world's poorest countries stand on their own two feet.

"Over the next decade a billion more young people will enter the job market. Africa's population is set to double by 2050 and as many as 18 million extra jobs will be needed. Failure will consign a generation to a future where jobs and opportunity are out of reach, potentially fuelling instability and mass migration with direct consequences for Britain."