Truss names new HM trade commissioners

Former acting DG for negotiations and German-based deputy start new roles
Liz Truss Credit: Parliament TV

By Jim Dunton

01 Sep 2021

International trade secretary Liz Truss has appointed two departmental officials to new roles as HM trade commissioners, tasked with banging the drum for British business around the world.

The Department for International Trade’s former acting director general for negotiations, Chris Barton,  becomes HM trade commissioner for Europe. Meanwhile former deputy trade commissioner for Europe Kenan Poleo, becomes HMTC for Eastern Europe and the Central Asia Network.

Truss said both Barton and Poleo had key roles in shaping the UK’s post-Brexit place in global business.

“As an independent trading nation, our relationships with our closest trading partner Europe and with central Asia remain extremely important,” she said.  

“We are working hard to promote Britain as a top investment destination – particularly in future-facing industries like science, tech and the green economy – and help British exporters access new markets.   

“I’m delighted to welcome Chris and Kenan as HM trade commissioners. They bring proven expertise and a wealth of knowledge to help British businesses succeed in this new trading landscape and take advantage of new opportunities as we strike trade agreements.”

Last month prime minister Boris Johnson named former cricketer Ian Botham among a list of new trade envoys.

Botham, now Lord Botham, will serve as trade envoy to Australia. There are currently 36 MPs and members of the House of Lords who undertake such roles as unpaid volunteers.

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