Africa Brexit bonanza: UK eyes huge £5bn trade links – British officials vow closer ties


The UK’s Trade Commissioner to Africa pledged Britain’s commitment to investing in Africa and forging closer trade ties. Emma Wade-Smith said the UK had a “commitment to the continent” stressing Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted the UK to be a “major economic partner in Africa.”

The British diplomat said seeking to develop the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which provides access to a market with 3.5 billion people.

Trade officials are keen to close the gap and roll over or secure trade deals with as many of the 54 African countries as possible after securing recent argeements with Cameroon and Ghana.

The Express understands at least £5billion worth of trade could be secured with the continent this year.

A Whitehall source said: “Africa is certainly a priority for a post-Brexit boom, developing relationships with nations which export lots of raw materials.”

 

Ms Wade-Smith added of the UK trading relationship with the continent: “The United Kingdom is now free to determine its economic relations with Africa.

“We share a long economic history, built on many British companies that have created thousands of jobs across the continent for decades.

“The UK is today one of Africa’s largest foreign investors and today one of its most important trading partners.

“Demand for goods and services from Britain is also very strong among African buyers.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson held talks with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last week with Downing Street saying trade was a policy area which has “good cooperation.”

It comes after Mr Johnson hosted 16 African heads of state, resulting in commercial deals across the continent worth £15 billion at the UK–Africa Investment summit last year.

Africa accounts for just 2.5 percent of the UK’s trade but South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s two largest economies, make up 60 percent of the entire UK-Africa trade relationship.

Common goods which are exported from Africa include precious metals, Fruits and nuts.



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