Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Rishi Sunak to rally G7 on protecting economy from state threats [May 2023]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 19 May 2023.

The Prime Minister will set out the UK’s plan to tackle global threats to security and prosperity as he opens a session at the G7 today.

  • G7 set to launch new Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion
  • PM will warn of growing threats to our economic security from hostile state actors
  • G7 leaders are expected to discuss supply chain resilience and tools to prevent vital technology falling into the wrong hands

The Prime Minister will set out the UK’s plan to expand the tools we can deploy to tackle global threats to security and prosperity and counter growing economic coercion, as he opens a session at the G7 today [Saturday 20th May] on economic security.

Speaking to G7 leaders, Rishi Sunak will highlight the huge potential costs to the global economy of hostile activity – noting for example the impact of Russia’s stranglehold on European gas supplies last year – and urge bold and pragmatic collective action.

He will urge the G7 and other international partners to coordinate our responses to unfair and coercive trading practices to avoid a costly zero sum game, which could hamper collective prospects for growth and technological innovation.

It comes as leaders are expected to agree to create a new G7 Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion. The Platform will address the growing and pernicious use of coercive economic measures to interfere in the sovereign affairs of other states. China, for example, has recently used its economic power to coerce countries including Australia and Lithuania over political disputes.

The new G7 Coordination Platform will provide a forum to identify vulnerabilities and coordinate on protective measures, drawing on insights from policymakers, businesses and academics. It will also act as the main forum for the G7 to coordinate on rapid responses to economic coercion when it occurs, ensuring we are giving each other early warning of possible crises and taking joint action where necessary.

The Prime Minister will set out the vital importance of precise, targeted and – as far as possible coordinated – approaches to protecting exploitation of our cutting-edge technologies for authoritarian ends, whilst preserving all the benefits of efficient, innovative free markets and open trade.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

We should be clear-eyed about the growing challenge we face. China is engaged in a concerted and strategic economic contest. And when Russia weaponised Europe’s energy supplies, it was a sign of what can happen when we rely too much on states who don’t share our values.

Our collective economic security matters now more than ever. By working together and avoiding competition between friends, we can lift our prosperity, innovate faster and out-compete autocratic states.

The UK has already taken a number of steps to further bolster our domestic economic security, including launching the new National Protective Security Authority within MI5 earlier this year to provide expert advice to businesses, academics and others. These complement existing export controls and investment screening powers under the National Security and Investment Act.

As the Government set out in the Integrated Review Refresh, we are stronger when we act with allies and partners to defend global rules, build our economic resilience and protect against the exploitation of our economic and technological advantage.

G7 leaders are also expected to step up joint efforts to strengthen the resilience of supply chains for vital goods like semiconductors and critical minerals.

It comes after the UK agreed a new semiconductor partnership with Japan on Thursday [18th] and published the UK’s National Semiconductor Strategy yesterday [19th], which sets out how up to £1 billion of government investment will boost the UK’s strengths and skills in design, R&D and compound semiconductors, while helping to grow domestic chip firms across the UK.