Nigeria is set to benefit from duty-free trade on 99% of goods exported to the United Kingdom (UK) as the two countries have agreed to a new trade deal.
The UK Government has started the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in Nigeria. As one of the best trading preferences in the world, DCTS demonstrates the UK’s commitment to cultivating long term, close, and positive relationships with Nigeria and other countries.
The launch took place in Lagos yesterday and would start in the Spring of 2023, taking over the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences.
Speaking at the launch, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, UK Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, noted that: “Nigeria is one of the UK’s most important partners in Africa and the UK Government is committed to working with Nigerian businesses and exporters to boost trade between our two great nations. The UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme uses trade to help Nigeria and other emerging economies grow and do exports well.
“One major benefit of this new UK trading scheme is that it abolishes tariffs on over 3000 everyday products that Nigeria currently exports including cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilizers, tomatoes, frozen shrimps and sesame. The overarching aim of the new scheme is to grow free and fair trade with developing countries, boosting the economy and supporting jobs in those countries, as well as in ours.”
Moreover, The scheme was part of a broader push by the UK to promote a free trade, pro-development agenda throughout the world, using trade to promote prosperity and help reduce poverty.
Also, Ben Llewellyn-Jones also noted that the total trade amount between the United Kingdom and Nigeria was £5.5 billion in 2022.
However, Llewellyn-Jones stated that of the £5.5 billion, total UK exports to Nigeria amounted to £3.3 billion, while total UK imports from Nigeria amounted to £2.2 billion in the four quarters of 2022. He then noted that most of the goods traded between both countries was oil and gas. He said that the UK was very determined to look into other sectors and work with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on this.
“Through this event, we intend to try and help exporters who are considering exports and making the UK their export destination. “So, we hope that today’s event is not simply a one-off, but for many people starting their journey towards exporting to the UK, or for some, a real easing of that journey so that they can increase their exports and export more to the UK. But certainly, reaching to the grassroots level is exactly what we are doing,” he added.
In his remarks, Simon Calvert, the Senior Commercial Agriculture Adviser, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), stated that the UK was cutting tariffs on 3000 new products for Nigeria, noting that before, Nigeria only had duty free trade on about 30 per cent of eligible goods, now the West African country has duty free trade on 9,200 products.