Ghana through the Ministry of Trade and Industries led by Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng, Minister-designate, has signed a new Interim Trade Partnership Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK).
The new agreement which was singed on March 2, 2021 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,” according to Mr. Kyeremateng who spoke at the event.
The Minister-designate also noted that it is intended to foster the trade relations that has existed between the two countries before the UK’s dissociation from the European Union or the Brexit.
He said: “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.”
He further indicated that the agreement takes cognizance of the economic and trade relationship that exists between West African Countries and Africa as a whole.
“The agreement 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),” Mr. Kyeremateng said.
During his vetting on February 26, 2021, the Minister-designate spoke about strategies adopted by Government to promote its exports towards economic growth and development.
The agreement, according to him, will provide a duty-free and quota-free system to ease exportation to the UK and boost competition among businesses in the country.
He said: “The agreement would 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.”
He added: “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.”
The Minister-designate, for this matter Ghana, is hopeful that 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” will be built under the new agreement.
Appreciating the UK Government for her efforts to help boost the Ghanaian economy even through the new agreement signed, the Minister-designate made special mention of the Automotive Industry, Garment and Pharmaceutical industries the UK supported in establishing in the country.
“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” he said.
About the Agreement
The original partnership agreement began in August 2016, between Ghana and the European Union.
It was to provide a duty-free and quota-free access to respective countries’ markets.
However, there were delays in implementing the terms of the agreement due to schedules that determine when such terms should be implemented.
UK along the line broke away from the European Union which frustrated Ghana’s partnership agreement with the UK.
This necessitated the signing of the Interim Trade Partnership Agreement.