Ghana and the UK have signed a new trade agreement worth £1.2bn ($1.6bn) that will allow free access and tariff reductions for certain goods between the countries.

Before Brexit, the UK was automatically part of any trade deal the European Union had negotiated with another country.

In its negotiations to leave the EU, the UK government managed to roll over most of the third-country trade deals it had as part of the union, but that did not include Ghana’s – meaning importers faced tariffs and extra paperwork.

For example, in January a shipment of bananas arriving into Portsmouth from Ghana was charged a tariff of £17,500.

This meant the UK was no longer a profitable market for Ghanaian banana producers.

But now Ghanaian products including bananas, tinned tuna and cocoa will benefit from tariff-free access to the UK.

The UK’s exports, including machinery, electronics and chemical products, will also benefit from a reduction in import duty taxes.

“This deal secures tariff-free access for products that British shoppers love – and supports jobs in Ghana – paving the way for further economic growth as we build back better from Covid-19,” said Ranil Jayawardena, the UK’s minister for international trade.

Ghana’s largest exports to the UK include mineral fuels and oil, preparations of fish, fruit, cocoa and cocoa preparations, a statement from the UK government website noted.

Its top imports from the UK include textiles, machinery and mechanical appliances, and chemical products.

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Source: BBC