British officials say they hope their country will one day join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
The TPP is currently being negotiated by 11 other countries. All 11 have a border facing either the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea.
The British government hopes trade with fast-growing economies will make up for any losses that may take place after it leaves the European Union.
Britain's withdrawal from the EU, known as Brexit, is expected in 2019.
On a recent trip to China, Britain's Trade Minister, Liam Fox, suggested his country might one day join the TPP.
We don't know what the success of the TPP is going to yet look like, because it isn't yet negotiated, Fox said.
So, it would be a little bit premature for us to be wanting to sign up to something that we're not sure what the final details will look like. However, we have said that we want to be an open, outward-looking country, and therefore it would be foolish for us to rule out any particular outcomes for the future, he added.
London sits some 7,000 kilometers from any Pacific coastline. So, is geography no longer an issue in 21st century trade?
Not so, says economist Jonathan Portes. He works as a professor at Kings College London.
Portes says, There has been an argument put forward that, particularly as trade in services expands, and as a result of technology, it will matter considerably less in the future, and that seems to make a lot of sense. So far at least, the actual data and evidence don't really support this contention. For whatever reason, geography at the moment seems to matter as much as it ever did, he added.
By withdrawing from the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, Britain will leave a free trade agreement that makes up about half of its foreign trade. By comparison, the 11 countries now negotiating the TPP combined accepted less than eight percent of all British exports last year.
Portes said it will take many years for Britain to profit from other trade deals. He added that British companies have close ties with the European Union. He thinks there will likely be problems because of Brexit.
The countries negotiating the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan and Mexico. The others are New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Barack Obama, former president of the United States, was a driving force behind TPP. But the next president, Donald Trump, pulled the United States out of the deal, saying it would be bad for America. Negotiations between the 11 remaining countries continue slowly.
Because of the U.S. withdrawal, the TPP has its own internal problems, said Portes, adding it will be a lot of work to fix those issues.
But Britain's interest in the TPP has been welcomed by some of the countries involved, namely Australia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to visit Asia later this year in an attempt to strengthen relations before Brexit.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.make up for 弥补
I have a lot of faults to make up for.
2.take place 发生，进行
When does the wedding come off take place?
3.want to do sth 想要做某事
Do you want to supper me?
4.by comparison 相比之下，比较而言
By comparison, only 17% of the guests helped.
5.However, we have said that we want to be an open, outward-looking country, and therefore it would be foolish for us to rule out any particular outcomes for the future, he added.
rule out 排除
The Treasury Department has ruled out using a weak dollar as the main solution for the country's trade problems.
A serious car accident in 1986 ruled out a permanent future for him in farming.
6.Portes says, There has been an argument put forward that, particularly as trade in services expands, and as a result of technology, it will matter considerably less in the future, and that seems to make a lot of sense.
put forward 提出
He has put forward new peace proposals.
The theory put forward by these scientists is quite reasonable.
目前，跨太平洋伙伴关系协定有11个成员国 。这11个国家都与太平洋或者中国南海有边境线毗邻 。
近期访华期间，英国贸易部部长利亚姆 福克斯(Liam Fox)表示，英国或加入跨太平洋伙伴关系协定 。
所以，对我们来说，想签订我们一些还没敲定最终方案的事情有些为时尚早 。福克斯补充道，不过，我们一直说我们想成为一个开放的外向型国家，因此排除掉未来任何特别的结果都是不明智的 。
经济学家乔纳森 波特斯表示，并非如此 。波特斯是英国伦敦国王学院的一名教授 。
波特斯表示，有人提出这样的看法说：尤其是随着服务贸易的扩张以及科技的发展，距离的影响将越来越不重要，这样说似乎很有道理 。但其实至少目前来看，实际的数据和证据并不支持这样的论点 。不论是出于什么原因，目前，地理因素的重要性依然不亚于以往，波特斯如是说道 。
英国退出欧盟单一市场和关税联盟，也就失去了一个占英国外贸总额近一半的自由贸易协定 。相比之下，如今协商跨太平洋伙伴关系协定的这11个国家的外贸总额只占英国去年出口总额的不到8% 。
波特斯表示，英国需要很多年才能从其他贸易协定中获益 。波特斯补充道，而且英国的很多公司与欧盟关系密切 。波特斯认为，所以脱欧很可能会引发很多问题 。
与英国协商签订跨太平洋伙伴关系协定的国家包括澳大利亚、文莱、加拿大、智利、日本和墨西哥 。此外还有新西兰、马来西亚、秘鲁、新加坡和越南 。
美国前总统巴拉克 奥巴马是跨太平洋伙伴关系协定的推手之一 。而奥巴马的后一任总统特朗普在任期间则退出了该协定，特朗普表示这份协定有损美国利益 。目前，余下这11个国家的协商进程十分缓慢 。
波特斯表示，由于美国的退出，跨太平洋伙伴关系协定自身就有一些问题 。他补充道，解决这些问题需要做很多工作 。
英国首相特蕾莎 梅预计今年下半年访问亚洲，以在正式脱欧前加强与亚洲国家的关系 。
苏珊 尚德为您播报 。