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Ghana to export banana, others to UK under a tariff-free agreement

Ghana is to export banana, tinned tuna, and cocoa to the United Kingdom (UK) under a tariff-free agreement.

The UK exports are also in line to benefit from tariff liberalisation from 2023, including machinery, electronics, and chemical products.

A statement issued by the UK High Commission in Accra, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the UK and Ghana on Tuesday signed a trade partnership agreement securing tariff-free trade between the two countries and providing a platform for greater economic and cultural cooperation.

It said the deal supported a trading relationship worth £1.2bn and reinstated the terms of the economic partnership agreement between the two sides when the UK was part of the EU.

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

It said Madam Truss was joined on a video call by Mr Alan John Kyerematen, Ghana's Minister Designate of Trade and Industry.

The International Trade Secretary said: “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.”

Mr James Duddridge, the UK Minister for Africa 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, 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.”

Mr Iain Walker, British High Commissioner to Ghana said: “Today’s signing marks the next chapter of the UK-Ghana partnership strengthened through trade and economic growth.

"This agreement will support vital jobs and ensure certainty for businesses across our two nations.

“As we also see the rollout of the COVAX vaccine in Ghana, the deal comes as both countries continue to build back better in the wake of COVID-19.”

The statement said Ghana's largest exports to the UK included crude oil, cocoa, fruits and vegetables, and fish.

It said its top imports included textile fibres, as well as medicinal, pharmaceutical, and cleaning products from the UK.

It said the agreement reaffirms the UK – Ghana trade and economic partnership strengthened through the UK-Ghana Business Council.

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

This accounts for 97 per cent of the value of trade with non-EU countries that the UK set out to secure agreements with at the start of the trade continuity programme.

Total UK trade with Ghana was £1.2 billion in 2019, of which UK exports were £652 million.

The UK government has secured trade agreements with 65 countries plus the EU.

Total trade with these countries was worth £890bn in 2019.

This is equivalent to 63 per cent of UK total trade.

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