UK Signs Enhanced Trade And Investment Partnership Agreement With Nigeria
THE United Kingdom has signed an Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership, ETIP, with Nigeria to boost trade and investment between the two countries and unlock new opportunities for UK and Nigerian businesses.
The UK Minister for Trade and Business, Kemi Badenoch, signed the ETIP alongside her Nigerian counterpart, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, on Tuesday in Abuja.
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
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 creative industry. The visit by the Secretary of State comes a week ahead of a UK government-led fashion and beauty trade delegation to Nigeria.
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% of existing Nigerian exports to the UK by value will be duty-free. 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. These changes will boost trade with the UK and support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s wider trade policy priorities.
Badenoch said: “The UK and Nigeria are vital partners, with longstanding historical and economic ties. 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.”
Nigeria’s Minister for Trade, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, said: “The UK is one of our long-standing strategic partners with whom we share strong ties, and it gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.
“This 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 interests.”
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, the partnership provides an opportunity to leverage UK and international investment from the City of London, which is home to the top financial and professional services.
During the visit, Badenoch will also hold a groundbreaking ceremony at Abuja’s first industrial park, built by UK-Turkish construction firm Zeberced Ltd, to open its support services areas at the site.
The $144 million industrial park is set to create 620 direct jobs and 1,650 indirect jobs and provide a base for major firms to access central and northern Nigeria.
The UK trade minister will, in addition, witness the signing of a landmark energy agreement between UK-based energy firm Konexa and Nigerian power generation company, North South Power, NSP.
The agreement will enable Konexa to supply Nigerian Breweries PLC with 100 per cent renewable power, promote sustainable development and clean energy adoption, and lead to infrastructure investments of over £14 million.
According to Konexa’s CEO, Pradeep Pursnani: “We are looking forward to investing more than £120m in renewable energy generation, transmission, distribution, and battery storage solutions to help our customers transition away from the use of fossil fuel.”
UK exports to Nigeria were £4 billion in the 12 months to the end of September 2023, an increase of 3 per cent in current prices from the 12 months to September 2022. Of this, £1.3 billion were goods and £2.6 billion were services.
The ETIP will build on the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which has already granted enhanced preferential access for over 3000 products, meaning that 99 per cent of existing Nigerian exports to the UK by value will be duty-free.
Tariffs have been removed on Nigerian goods in important non-oil export sectors such as cocoa butter and paste, sesame oil and clothing and apparel. For example, 14 per cent of tariffs have been removed on prepared tomatoes, 4.5 per cent removed on sesame oil, 6.4 per cent removed for woven cotton, 4.5 per cent removed on cocoa paste, and 12.5 per cent removed on plantains.
Working groups and business dialogues will take place to ensure businesses on both sides benefit and have access to the opportunities the ETIP presents.