The United Kingdom (UK) has signed an Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) with Nigeria to boost trade and investment between the two countries as well as unlock new business opportunities for both nations.
UK Minister for Trade and Business, Kemi Badenoch alongside her Nigerian counterpart, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite signed the ETIP on Tuesday, February 13, in Abuja.
Badenoch expressed optimism about the collaboration, noting that the UK and Nigeria are vital partners, with longstanding historical and economic ties.
The UK Minister stated: “UK businesses are already seeing huge success in Nigeria – one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
“I’m delighted to be here to sign our new enhanced partnership which will allow UK firms to export their world-class goods and services more easily and expand their footprint in Nigeria.”
The Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) is the first the UK has signed with an African country and is designed to grow the UK and Nigeria’s already thriving trading relationship, which totalled £7 billion in the year to September 2023.
The Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer and Comms Lead, Prosperity and Economic Development, Ndidiamaka Eze, said this arrangement will pave the way for opportunities in sectors crucial to both economies such as finance and legal services as well as foster new collaborations in innovative areas like the creatives industry.
“The ETIP also initiates further collaboration on the UK’s ambitious Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), launched last year which puts in place simpler and more generous trading terms for Nigeria and 36 other African countries.
“Nigeria is a major beneficiary of changes introduced by the DCTS and will see tariff reductions on over 3000 products, meaning that 99 percent of existing Nigerian exports to the UK by value will be duty-free,” she said.
Eze explained tariffs have been removed on Nigerian goods which promote value addition in important non-oil export sectors such as cocoa butter and paste, sesame oil, and clothing and apparel.
According to her, “These changes will boost trade with the UK and support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s wider trade policy priorities.”
Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, on her part, explained that the UK is one of Nigeria’s long-standing strategic partners with whom the nation shares strong ties, adding “It gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.”
Uzoka-Anite indicated that the partnership will see Nigeria-UK relations move beyond one of shared history and strong ties to one of shared economic prosperity.
From increasing market access and supporting our vibrant businesses to creating more jobs and accelerating greater investments in sectors of mutual interest.
She said: “The ETIP will help to build on the significant progress already made in resolving market access barriers in the education and financial sectors, which have led to a more favourable trading environment for UK and Nigerian businesses.
“In addition, through this partnership, there is an opportunity to leverage UK and international investment from the City of London, which is home to the top financial and professional services.”
The CityUK International Managing Director Nicola Watkinson also highlighted the role of Nigeria for the UK-based financial and related professional services industry, describing it as “an important growth market”, stating that “The CityUK welcomes the signing of the new ETIP.”
“We look forward to continuing our engagement through the working groups to increase market access and remove regulatory frictions,” Watkinson added.
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