U.K. expects trade with Ghana to increase to £1.4bn

British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson

Trade between Ghana and the United Kingdom (U.K.) is targetted to grow to £1.4 billion in value as the two countries commit to a new three-party partnership, including Rwanda, which is expected to boost trade opportunities between local businesses and their foreign counterparts.

According to the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, while increasing trade remains a key priority for both countries, it is expected that products going from the country to the U.K. meet market standards.

She observed that supporting Ghana’s exporters to meet the standards the UK markets require will help to remove one of the barriers currently stopping goods from the country from entering their markets.

The British High Commissioner to Ghana, speaking in an interview at the sidelines of the launching of the ‘Standards Partnership Pilot,’ reiterated that the platform created was fundamental to boosting trade between the country and the rest of the world.

“This programme will help put Ghanaian businesses on the global stage. By adopting and working within international trading standards, this new partnership will build greater capacity in Ghana’s Standard Authority (GSA), and better position companies to export Ghanaian products to the UK.

“The launch of the UK-Ghana Standard Partnership Pilot is timely. With the roll-out of the AfCFTA and the implementation of the U.K. – Ghana Trade Partnership Agreement, quality standardisation will play a critical role in driving further trading opportunities between our two nations and beyond,” she stated.

The programme is the first U.K. Government-backed initiative to use global standards to support trade in Africa. It is led by the British Standards Institution (BSI) in collaboration with and to support GSA.

It will focus on strengthening national quality infrastructure organisations and systems in complying with internationally recommended practices.

Also, the pilot will help deliver secondary benefits by enabling businesses to build resilient, diversified supply chains with high-quality products and services, resulting in greater choice and lower prices of goods for consumers.

The project is the first step toward the Standards Partnership programme – a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office-funded (FCDO) initiative to unlock sustainable economic development by increasing the capacity of developing countries to use and comply with standards and regulatory measures – enabling them to access new markets, and benefit from global supply chains.

The Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, also speaking at the ceremony, said the project will, among other benefits, strengthen the long-standing relationship between Ghana and the U.K.

He added that it will also ensure that the products are vigorously checked and maintained so that they can be consumed locally and exported, which will enhance the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

On his part, the President of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and Director-General of GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, acknowledged that the initiative holds the potential to transform intra-Africa and global trade.

He said the U.K. is one of Ghana’s leading trading partners, and goods from Ghana are always in high demand provided they meet strict international standards and related requirements.

Because of this, he observed that the Standards Partnership Programme provides a timely opportunity for Ghana to improve standards and quality infrastructure to expand trade with the UK and the world.

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