Ghana, Northern Ireland UK Sign Interim Trade Partnership

The Governments of Ghana, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed a new interim trade partnership.

In a statement at the signing ceremony on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the Minister-designate for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said “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.”

According to him, “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.”

He thanked 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.

He also thanked 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, he stressed reaffirmed 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,” he added.

By Melvin Tarlue