By Caribbean News Global
LONDON, England – The United Kingdom and Côte d’Ivoire signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Thursday, maintaining existing trade arrangements. Minister for international trade, Ranil Jayawardena signed the agreement with Her Excellency Sara Affoué Amani, ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to the United Kingdom, in London.
The agreement allows businesses to trade as freely as they do now, without any additional barriers or tariffs – and provides a firm foundation from which both sides can further deepen our trading relationship and pursue common interests.
Total UK trade with Côte d’Ivoire was £401 million in 2019. Top imports to UK from Côte d’Ivoire were in cocoa beans and cocoa preparations (£192 million), and edible fruit and nuts, mostly bananas (£22 million). The UK market accounts for 23 percent of total exports of cocoa butter from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as 6 percent of bananas.
Minister for international trade, Ranil Jayawardena said: “The preferential trading terms, secured by this agreement are part of HM government’s commitment to supporting developing countries by reducing poverty through trade. Through providing tariff-free market access to Britain, this agreement supports jobs and economic development in Côte d’Ivoire. It will underpin trade in processed cocoa and bananas, supporting the livelihoods of Ivorians working in these sectors and guaranteeing access for British consumers.”
- Statistics sources: ONS UK total trade: all countries, non-seasonally adjusted January to March 2020; HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics August 2020; UN COMTRADE (extracted October 2020).
- The agreement covers trade in goods, including provisions on rules of origin, and preferential tariffs and quotas.
- The agreement will now be subject to the domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Côte d’Ivoire.
- The agreement is designed to take effect at the end of the transition period.
- The UK has now signed or agreed in principle trade agreements with 51 countries. This includes the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which was agreed in principle on September 11, 2020. Total UK trade with these countries was worth £144 billion in 2019.