The UK has been signing trade agreements with several nations, the latest being Cameroon, as it readies to leave the EU and with it the benefits that comes with being part of the bloc, which includes unified tariffs and trading conditions with other countries.
The UK said on Wednesday an agreement has been reached to roll over current EU-Cameroon trading arrangements from 1 January 2021.
The Economic Partnership Agreement will allow businesses to trade freely as they do now, without any additional barriers or tariffs, and “provides a foundation to extend our trading relationship in future,” the Department for International Trade said in a statement.
The news comes just days after it agreed a historic post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, as it approaches the end of the transition period, and a trade deal with Turkey.
The government said total UK trade with Cameroon amounted to £200m ($272m) in 2019.
Top goods imports to the UK from Cameroon in 2019 were fruit and nuts, mostly bananas (£27m), as well as wood and wood products (£25m).
The UK market accounts for 12% of total exports of bananas from Cameroon and this agreement will maintain tariff-free market access to the UK, the government said It also guarantees continued market access for UK exporters, who sold £51m in goods to Cameroon in 2019.
Minister for international trade Ranil Jayawardena said the UK “is committed to supporting developing countries by encouraging growth through trade. The preferential terms for their key exports, such as bananas, will support jobs and economic development in Cameroon, and make sure British consumers get the products they want.”
On Wednesday, the government said its deal with Turkey is a “major win for UK automotive, manufacturing and steel industries” and supports a trading partnership that was worth £18.6bn last year.
“The deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for the 7,600 UK businesses that exported goods to Turkey in 2019, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods and protecting vital UK-Turkey supply chains in the automotive and manufacturing sectors,” the Department for International Trade said.
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