Trevelyan confirms plans to launch new Developing Countries Trading Scheme at Invest Africa event

Thu 7 Jul 2022
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

UK International Trade new Developing Countries Trading Scheme

International trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has spoken of the UK’s plans to step up investment and grow its trading partnership with developing economies.

In a speech at Invest Africa’s ‘Africa Debate’ in London yesterday (06 July), Trevelyan highlighted the opportunities of Africa’s import markets, which are forecast to expand more than five-fold from nearly $700bn in 2019, to $3.9 trillion by 2050.

Seize the day

Trevelyan – who today thanked Boris Johnson for his “service” as prime minister – said the government wants to support British businesses to seize those opportunities.

“Clearly, to achieve this and to reduce costs for consumers and businesses in African countries, we need to remove trade barriers,” she said.

Simplifying trade

The minister reiterated plans to launch the Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which introduces more generous, less bureaucratic trading rules.

Announced last summer, the scheme will reduce tariffs and simplify rules of origin requirements for business exporting to the UK from developing countries.

For UK businesses, the scheme purports to strip away additional paperwork and cuts costs via £700m worth of tariff reductions.

Platinum Partnerships

The scheme applies to 70 countries, with the aim of allowing them to diversify their exports and grow their economies.

British households and businesses will benefit from lower prices and greater choice under the plans.

The government has also recently announced a new initiative called Platinum Partnerships, which will build closer trading ties between the UK and Commonwealth countries.

Strengthen supply chains

Also speaking at the event was Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office minister Vicky Ford who said the UK has trained more than 190 African trade negotiators to cut through cross-border trade barriers.

She also announced a pilot for a standards partnership programme in Ghana and Rwanda to strengthen supply chains and reduce barriers to trade by helping both countries meet global standards and regulations.

Helping green growth

Ford underlined the opportunities for British business in helping African countries achieve greener growth, backed by UK finance and government support packages such as the Growth Gateway service.

“My pledge is you is that I will continue to do all I can to support a freer, safer, greener and more prosperous Africa, helping to deliver opportunity for all,” the Chelmsford MP said.

New trade commissioner

A new trade commissioner for Africa was recently appointed by the trade minister in John Humphrey – a former business executive with experience in the private and public sectors.

Humphrey will generate business opportunities for the UK while contributing to the growth of sustainable, resilient, and productive economies across the African continent. 

However, five trade envoys resigned from outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet this week, alongside exports minister Mike Freer.