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Business News of Friday, 5 February 2021
Source: Starr FM
Britain has secured a trade deal worth £1.2 billion with Ghana, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has announced.
A joint statement from the two countries said: “Today Ghana and the UK are pleased to announce that they have finalized negotiations on a new Interim Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement. This Agreement will provide for duty-free and quota-free access for Ghana to the UK market and preferential tariff reductions for UK exporters to the Ghanaian market.
“The Agreement will enter into effect following the completion of relevant internal procedures required in both Ghana and the UK.”
It comes after negotiators finalized the outline of a deal on December 31.
Since then both sides have been working to come to an agreement on the finer details of the pact.
Ms Truss’s department has signed more than 60 trade deals over the past 18 months, more than any country has ever achieved within the same time period.
At the start of the year, the Minister outlined a bold vision in the House of Commons to turbocharge the UK’s trade with international partners.
She said: “In under two years we have agreed on trade deals covering 63 countries, plus the EU that account for £885billion.
“That is unprecedented. No other country has ever negotiated so many trade deals simultaneously.
“In 2021 we will be adding to these deals.”
The agreement with Ghana is expected to be signed shortly and comes ahead of anticipated pacts with Australia and New Zealand.
“There is a race between Australia and New Zealand,” a senior Department of International Trade official said.
“They should both be around Easter, maybe earlier if it goes well.”
Speaking to City AM, the official said negotiations with New Zealand and Australia were “neck and neck”.
A Department of International Trade spokesman said: “We are committed to securing ambitious free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand as soon as possible, harnessing the opportunity to negotiate high-quality and innovative trade agreements with like-minded, liberal trading nations.”
Last week the UK also formally put forward a request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put the UK’s accession to the group at the heart of plans for trade-in 2021.
CPTPP is a free-trade agreement between 11 countries centered around the Pacific Rim.
Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan are all part of the group.
Mr Johnson said last week: “One year after our departure for the EU we are forging new partnerships that will bring enormous economic benefits for the people of Britain.
“Applying to be the first new country to join the CPTPP demonstrates our ambition to do business on the best terms with our friends and partners all over the world and be an enthusiastic champion of global free trade.”