Ghana, UK ratify trade partnership agreement worth US$1.67 billion

GHANA – Ghana and the United Kingdom have penned a trade partnership agreement that secures tariff-free trade and provides a platform for greater economic and cultural cooperation.

The agreement was signed by Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss and Ghana’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, Peprah Ampratwum, at the Department for International Trade in central London.

Secretary Truss was joined on a video call by Ghana’s Minister Designate for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, to mark the signing.

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) valued at £1.2 billion (US$1.67 billion), reinstates the terms of the trade agreement between the two sides when the UK was part of the EU.

Just like in most African countries, Ghana’s agriculture sector is the biggest beneficiary under the pact with top imports to UK to include bananas, tinned tuna and cocoa, benefiting from tariff-free access to the country.

UK has now secured trade agreements with 65 non-EU countries, representing trade worth US$303 billion in 2019

 “This deal secures tariff-free access for products that British shoppers love – and supports jobs in Ghana – paving the way for further economic growth as we build back better from Covid-19.

“It is further evidence of the UK’s determination to champion free trade around the world, which fosters growth, creates jobs and raises living standards for all,” Minister for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena said.

UK exports are also in line to benefit from tariff liberalisation from 2023, including machinery, electronics and chemical products. In 2019, UK exports to the country were £652 million (US$911 million).

“I am delighted to be able to sign this deal with our friends and partners in Ghana. It provides certainty for businesses that provide vital jobs and livelihoods in Ghana, and it strengthens the ties between our two countries.

“We can now look forward to deepening and furthering our relationship in future, and working together to secure a broader agreement with the West Africa Region,” International Trade Secretary Truss said.

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Ghana’s largest exports to the UK include mineral fuels and oil, preparations of fish, fruit, cocoa and cocoa preparations.

Its top imports from Britain include clothing/textiles, machinery and mechanical appliances, and chemical products.

UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge said, “The UK and Ghana have a strong partnership and the signing of today’s agreement marks an important moment for boosting trade, worth £1.2 billion (US$1.67 million), between our two nations.

“With tariff-free access for Ghana to the UK, it will enable businesses to scale up their operations, support innovation in markets and create jobs as we recover together from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The deal means the UK has now secured trade agreements with 65 non-EU countries, representing trade worth £217 billion (US$303 billion) in 2019.

Britain sealed an agreement with Kenya late last year which took effect on 1st January 2021.

Under the Kenya-UK EPA, trade is valued at £1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) with Kenya’s tea, coffee, spices, vegetables and live trees and plants set to benefit from the free-market access.

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