The volume of trade between Ghana and the UK has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to newly appointed British High Commission to Ghana.
Iain Walker disclosed that recent statistics made available to the commission show that bilateral trade between the two countries has been declining since 2012, culminating in the 30 percent drop recorded by the end of 2015. While paying a courtesy call to the Speaker of Ghana’s parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, the High Commissioner described the development as a “cause for concern”.
Walker said this is particularly worrying because of the government’s drive to reducing its dependence on aid.
As at 2014, Ghana was the UK’s fifth largest trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa with trade reaching 1.3 billion pounds at the end of 2015. This was a recovery from the drop from 1.3 billion recorded in 2013, to 1 billion in 2014. Bilateral trade in goods and services totaled 1.05 billion pounds during the period.
“The challenge is how do we in the UK help you to achieve that ambition of getting beyond aid as partners and to make that happen. The statistics that give me some cause for concern is trade. And I look at the UK-Ghana bilateral trade and I see that despite all the excellent things that we see, between our countries, our bilateral trade has fallen 30 percent from 2012 to 2015”, he told the speaker.
The United Kingdom is one the largest foreign investors in Ghana, and the Commissioner is seeking to find ways of deepening the current relationship towards helping government its “Beyond Aid” agenda. He was of the opinion that trade is the surest way of achieving that. “…if Ghana looks to move beyond aid and is successful, and if the UK helps make that happen and is successful in its contribution to that, then what does that future look like? I would imagine that it has to
“…if Ghana looks to move beyond aid and is successful, and if the UK helps make that happen and is successful in its contribution to that, then what does that future look like? I would imagine that it has to be trade. And I would like to think that as we move forward, the UK is involved in helping you develop that in a trade relationship, and the UK is at the table and is offering a genuine and incredible offer”, he stressed.
Mr Walker’s predecessor, John Benjamin had strongly held the view that Trade between the two countries would reach a “record high by 2020”. Ghana imports beverages, pharmaceutical products, vehicles, iron, steel and other products from the UK.
Ghana imports beverages, pharmaceutical products, vehicles, iron, steel and other products from the UK.