Ghana has signed a trade agreement with the United Kingdom reported to be worth $1.6 billion.
The deal is one of the latest agreements since Britain exited the European Union.
“Today Ghana and the UK are pleased to announce that they have finalised 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 countries said in a joint statement.
Last October, political circumstances forced the west African republic to halt negotiations with Britain on rolling over the existing free-trade deal it has with the EU.
Ghana demanded a temporary trade deal with the UK, so its banana and pineapple growers would not sustain tariffs that would price them out of the British market. In January, a shipment of bananas arriving into Portsmouth from Ghana was charged a tariff of £17,500 ($24,400.)
Labour MP Gareth Thomas addressed the Commons, slamming the extortionate tariffs: “The government’s dismal treatment of Ghana – a key Commonwealth ally – is particularly surprising,” he said — urging the government to strike a fair deal with Ghana.
In 2019, the UK’s total trade with Ghana was worth £1.2 billion. Ghana exported approximately 20 million pounds of bananas to the UK in 2020 — about 40 percent of its total production.
“The new Agreement reaffirms the deep interest of both Ghana and the UK to strengthen their longstanding trade and economic relationship,” the joint statement continues.
“The Agreement also reflects the importance of 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. The Agreement further underscores their shared ambition to enhance relations between the UK, ECOWAS and African States more broadly.”