Helen Grant, the United Kingdom’s trade representative to Nigeria, has announced that Nigeria is on the brink of signing an ambitious trade deal with the United Kingdom.
She said in an interview published by UK’s Express.co.uk online newspaper, the “absolutely huge” trade deal will cover sectors such as tech, financial services, agriculture and green technology.
“Nigeria is now at the helm of the WTO, I think that will be very helpful. And the fact that Nigeria has signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, I think all of these factors are of assistance,” she said.
“I also do get the strong feeling that we, of course, would be open to discussing a free trade agreement with other West African countries,” she told the express.
The British tabloid also reports that UK new trading terms would be “simpler and more generous” than the EU’s generalised scheme of preferences that governed UK foreign trade before Brexit.
This will come as a huge deal for Nigeria, after missing out on an agreement with UK trade ministry for developing countries to pay less or no tariffs on a range of goods including almost everything except arms.
Nigeria is the UK’s 46th largest trading partner, currently accounting for 0.3% of total UK trade in 2020, according to the UK Department of International Trade.
READ ALSO: UK, EU reach post-Brexit trade deal
Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Nigeria plummeted 28% or £1.2bn in 2020, from £3.2bn the previous year.
In 2020, UK exports also to Nigeria dropped 28% to £1.9bn.
Exports from UK to Nigeria is dominated by refined petroleum, accounting for 36% of exports, while textiles, soap products, and machinery made up the rest.
While UK imports from Nigeria hit £1.3bn last year but this represents a slump by 27 percent.
According to UK data crude oil (82%), refined oil (10%), gas (3.7%) and metal (1%) being the key Nigerian exports to UK.
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