UK signs new trade partnership with Nigeria

Tue 13 Feb 2024
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News
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The UK government has today (13 February) announced a new partnership with Nigeria aimed at boosting trade and investment while “unlocking new opportunities for UK and Nigerian businesses”.

The Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) is the first of this kind to be signed between the UK and an African country, according to the Department for Business and Trade.

Both sides hope the new deal will boost trade between the two countries, which stood at £7bn in the year to September 2023.  This was an increase of 3% on the previous six months.

Partnership

Business and trade secretary, Kemi Badenoch, announced and signed the ETIP on a visit to Abuja, Nigeria.

She said:

“This partnership with Nigeria – the UK’s first with an African country – will allow us to work together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Nigeria has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. UK businesses have already seen huge success here and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow this relationship.”

Turning strong ties into economic prosperity

Badenoch’s Nigerian counterpart, trade minister Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, said of the deal:

“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 ETIP.

“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 accelerate greater investments in sectors of mutual interests.”

The Institute of Export & International Trade’s (IOE&IT) Africa lead, Eugene Waluvengo, says the deal marks an important moment for UK-Africa trade:

“Coming after the signing of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the UK-Ghana Interim Trade Partnership Agreement, this agreement with Nigeria demonstrates the UK's commitment to boosting trade with Africa. This Enhanced Trade Investment Partnership Agreement is expected to reduce trade barriers and to boost trade volumes between the two countries.

“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and is one of the world’s growth hotspots, so the potential opportunities for UK businesses, especially those in the important UK services sector, are enormous.”

While not in itself changing any trade regulations, ETIP will see officials from the two countries open discussions to ease restrictions, with working groups established to focus on services, including legal. This follows previous agreements on educational and financial services.

A recent resolution helped remove restrictions on UK educational institutions and education providers who want to offer services, or even set up campuses in Nigeria, while achieving a remittance resolution helped streamline several foreign exchange windows into a single import and export window, easing trade for UK businesses dealing with Nigeria.