Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has disclosed that Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) have signed an Interim Trade Partnership Agreement.
The agreement, she said, will provide duty free and quota free access for Ghana to the UK market with the same preferential tariff reductions for British exporters into the Ghanaian market.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey disclosed this when Out-going High Commissioner of the UK and Northern Ireland to Ghana, H.E. Iain Walker called at her office to bid farewell.
She congratulated him on the successful completion of his official duty and acknowledged that bilateral relations between Ghana and the UK witnessed active engagements and growth during his tenure.
The Minister noted that relations between Ghana and the UK in the area of security also moved a notch higher during this term when he discharged his duties creditably with a high sense of purpose and tenacity.
She applauded the instrumentality of the High Commissioner in the establishment of the Ghana-UK Business Council in 2018 to promote bilateral relations and strategic partnerships between the private sectors of Ghana and UK trade and investment.
“The exemplary work of his H.E. Mr. Walker also resulted in a number of high level official visits to Ghana including the visit by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in November 2018, Rt. Hon. James Duddridge (MP), Minister for Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, in January 2021.”
“Other visits were by Mr. James Heappey, UK Minister for Armed Forces in February 2021 and the just ended visit of Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, UK Secretary of State for Home Department from 1st to 2nd June, 2021.”
According to her, the immense contribution that the UK has made and continues to make towards the socio-economic development of Ghana highlighted the commendable work of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in reducing Ghana’s reliance on UK aid, by improving domestic tax mobilization and improved management of the economy.
Others, she said, include, “Helping over 900,000 poor and vulnerable Ghanaians to lead safer, healthier and more prosperous lives through various social intervention initiatives;” and
“Supporting Ghana’s industrialization and economic transformation agenda, which are critical to strengthening Ghana’s economic resilience and unlocking its ambition of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda”
Ayorkor Botchwey thanked the High Commissioner for his efforts in ensuring UK support for Ghana’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with a pledge of £450,000 package to help Ghana’s pharmaceutical sector to adapt and build back better in the wake of the pandemic in its commitment to continue to offer public health epidemiological modelling support.
The Ambassador, she said, has contributed to the growth of cooperation between Ghana and UK and expressed hope he will be an advocate for Ghana wherever he finds himself.
The Minister assured the out-going High Commissioner of the determination of Government to transform the Ghanaian economy through value addition and export-oriented growth with the private sector as the main player, and expressed hope that he could be relied on as Ghana’s Ambassador-at-large in canvassing support for the country.
She pledged government’s resolve and commitment to the promotion of democracy and good governance and the pursuit of peace and security within the West African region and the continent at large.
The Foreign Ministry, she said, will cooperate and support his successor to further consolidate the Ghana-UK relations and bid the High Commissioner and his family best wishes.