Nigeria and other developing nations are set to benefit from the reduction in tariffs on products from the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom on Monday said the move was towards restoring trade rules as well as enabling businesses and consumers to save millions of pounds a year.
The UK minister of International Trade, Nigel Huddleston unveiled the scheme while on a visit to Ethiopia’s largest industrial business park, Bole Lemi, Naija News learnt.
According to him, the scheme is a brilliant example of the UK taking advantage of its status as an independent trading nation and I am excited to see it implemented today.
In a statement issued by the British High Commission in Abuja, the new scheme would reduce tariffs and simplify trading rules so that more products qualify for the scheme, which is more generous than the European Union ( EU) scheme the UK was previously a member of.
The British High Commission in its statement said the new scheme opens more entries into the scheme to diversify and increase exports, which would intend to drive their prosperity and create jobs.
And with time, as developing countries increase trade with the UK under the scheme, businesses could save millions more on import costs.
Huddleston, in a statement, noted that “In Nigeria, over 99 per cent of goods exported from the country will automatically be eligible for duty-free access to the UK. Nigeria will receive enhanced preferential access for almost 3,000 products. E.g. 4.5 per cent removed on cocoa paste, 26.5 per cent removed on fruit juices, and 14 per cent removed on prepared tomatoes.
“It will create opportunities for businesses around the world, supporting livelihoods, creating jobs and diversifying local and international supply chains. It will also benefit UK businesses and consumers by lowering import costs on a whole range of products.”
UK deputy British High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones applauded the new development saying the UK government is committed to working with Nigeria and “the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme harnesses the power of trade to help Nigeria and other emerging economies grow and prosper.”
He added that “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 trade with developing countries, boosting the economy and supporting jobs in those countries, as well as in ours.”