In recent weeks there has been much focus on Westminster and when and how (or even if) the UK may leave the European Union. Clearly with so much still up in the air it is not possible, with any degree of confidence, suggest where this will all land up other than to say the final position “will not be as bad as we fear nor as good as we hope”.
However, we should not forget the importance of the bilateral trade relations between the UK and Ghana, with over $3.3bn invested into Ghana by UK companies and £198 of goods and £174m of services exported from Ghana to the UK – the UK remains an important trading and investment partner with Ghana. In the event the UK exits the European Union, the importance of ensuring a seamless transition and maintenance of the duty free and quota free access to the UK markets cannot be stressed enough to ensure those companies exporting to the UK are not impacted beyond the potential risk of the sterling depreciating.
But it is not all negative as we look to the future, there are a number of exciting dynamics to consider. Not least is the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), this important agreement could result in a number of opportunities for our members through greater duty free access to other markets on the continent. Whilst it is acknowledged there are risks in opening up markets, companies should not be fearful of competition in a rules based market place, we just have to ensure the rules are enforced and your Chamber is here to flag up any breaches with the authorities as required!
To understand the scale of the potential of AfCTFA and intra-continental trade, the infographic above shows how far Africa is lagging in intra-continental trade when compared to other parts of the world.
But what does that mean for the bilateral trade between the UK and Ghana, in the event they depart from the EU with or without a deal? Some members have suggested to the Chamber, that they can see an expansion of Ghanaian exports of value-added coca products to the UK, expansion of production and export of preserved tuna, securing value for specific agricultural products and facilitating the development of intra-African supply chains resulting from increased Ghanian productions and export of value-added products to the UK. What opportunities do you see?