Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry-designate has hailed the Ghana-United Kingdom (UK) new Interim Trade Partnership 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,” Kyerematen remarked at the signing of the new Interim Trade Partnership Agreement between Ghana and the United Kingdom.
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 31 December 2020.
The agreement was signed by Peprah Ampratwum, Ghana’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, and Madam Liz Truss, the UK Secretary of State for International Trade and at the Department for International Trade in central London, with Kyerematen joining them on a video call.
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 the two nations to reach a consensus on the fundamental elements of the new agreement.
Kyerematen said he was pleased that both Ghana and the UK agreed to use the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) text for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the basis for this new agreement.
He said the agreement also reflected the importance that both Ghana and the UK attached to integration between the West African States within the context of the ECOWAS and amongst the 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,” he said.
“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.”
He said in particular, it would 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 the 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,” he said.