Ghana-UK signs trade partnership agreement
REMARKS BY THE HON. MINISTER DESIGNATE FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ON THE OCCASION OF THE SIGNING OF THE INTERIM GHANA-UK TRADE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
TUESDAY, MARCH 2ND 2021
The Rt. Hon. Secretary of State for International Trade
Senior UK Government Officials
Representatives from the Ghana High Commission
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Today marks a very important day as we witness the signing of the new Interim Trade Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Ghana and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The new Agreement replaces the Interim Ghana – European Union Economic Partnership Agreement which governed trade relations between Ghana and the UK until the Interim EPA Agreement ceased to apply to the UK on December 31, 2020.
Negotiations between Ghana and the UK technical teams for this new trade framework started in March 2018 and as is often the case with trade agreements, the negotiations have taken quite a bit of time for us to reach consensus on the fundamental elements of the new Agreement.
I wish first to thank the Rt. Hon. Liz Truss for her constructive engagement and the flexibility she has shown in the negotiations which made it possible to arrive at the desirable outcome we celebrate today with the signing of the new Interim Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement.
Secondly, I would like to thank the UK Negotiation Team and my own Team for their diligence and professionalism as they engaged in consultations on the structure and content of the Agreement. I am pleased both the UK and Ghana agreed to use the Regional EPA text for ECOWAS as the basis for this new Agreement.
The new Agreement reaffirms the deep interest of both Ghana and the UK to strengthen our longstanding trade and economic relationship and establishes a new framework for Ghana-UK collaboration which will contribute to sustained economic growth in Ghana.
The Agreement also reflects the importance that both the UK and Ghana attach to integration between the West African States within the context of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and amongst African States within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Under the new Agreement we hope to build the foundation for negotiating a free trade agreement between the UK and ECOWAS which will promote regional integration, economic cooperation and good economic governance in the West African region and increase intra-regional trade.
I believe the new Agreement would further support the economic and sustainable development agenda of Ghana by enhancing Ghana’s export potential and export diversification. In particular, it will provide duty free-quota free access for Ghanaian exports to the UK market, enhance the competitiveness of local industries and improve the business environment in Ghana through development cooperation between our two countries.
I also believe the Agreement will complement priority policies and projects of the Government of Ghana, in particular the Industrial Transformation Agenda and the National Export Development Strategy which are designed to boost industrial production and enhance export development.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank the UK Government for actively supporting our programme of developing new Strategic Anchor Industries which seek to build new economic pillars of growth and diversify the Ghanaian economy beyond Cocoa and Gold.
In this regard, I would like to make special mention of the support we have received from the UK Government in the development of the Automotive Industry as well as the Garment and Pharmaceutical industries.
I would like to conclude by saying that there could not have been a better time than now for the UK and Ghana to be entering into this new Agreement, which hopefully will provide the stimulus for the revitalization of the economies of our two countries particularly in a post-COVID era.
God bless the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
God bless the Republic of Ghana