Last reviewed 6 September 2021

As part of a co-ordinated Government effort overseas to promote UK trade, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced the appointment of two new HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs).

Working closely with the wider diplomatic network and other UK Government colleagues in their region, the two Commissioners will, according to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, play a crucial role in attracting inward investment and helping British businesses seize export opportunities throughout Europe and Central Asia.

The Commissioners are reportedly paid up to £120,000 per annum.

Chris Barton, previously Acting Director General of Trade Negotiations at DIT, has been appointed as HMTC for Europe. Deputy HMTC for Europe, Kenan Poleo, becomes HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network (EECAN).

“I’m delighted to welcome Chris and Kenan as HM Trade Commissioners”, Ms Truss said. “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.”

Mr Poleo said that countries across his region continue to diversify their economies into areas where the UK excels, such as technology and clean growth.

“My key priority will be to support British businesses in realising the opportunities this diversification provides through dialogue and collaboration around market access and innovation”, he went on.

Mr Barton suggested that ratification of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), alongside new free trade agreements (FTAs) with other European countries, provides a strong basis for further opportunities.

He said that he would be working to reduce barriers to UK trade in Europe, helping UK businesses to export, and attracting inward investment while championing the rules-based international trading system.