Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Windsor MP questions the government on trade

On Tuesday 21st February Adam asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an update on the work that they are doing to ensure Brexit leads to better diplomatic relations (52:46 to 53:48):

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions – Tuesday 21st February

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support democracy in and (b) strengthen UK relations with countries in Africa. (908818)

Tobias Ellwood (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The UK’s links with Africa are profound. We spend almost £5 billion a year supporting Africa’s stability and prosperity. My Rt. Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary (Mr Johnson) last week visited The Gambia which recently saw its first democratic transfer of power, and in May my Rt. Hon Friend the Prime Minister (Mrs May) will host a major conference to agree a new international partnership for Somalia, demonstrating UK leadership and commitment to democracy and stability in Africa.

 

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): There were also crowds of people to welcome us when we arrived in Ghana a week or two ago. Although we could not quite work out whether the welcome was for us or for the Minister for Trade and Investment, it was thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless.

It seems to me that the greater the number of trading connections that we forge, particularly in west Africa, the stronger the foundation on which to build good international relations will be. Does my right hon. Friend agree that withdrawal from the European customs union will give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost our diplomatic relations worldwide?

Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): I thank my hon. Friend for his work as trade envoy to Ghana. Indeed, I thank all our trade envoys, who do a fantastic job around the world. It is thanks to the efforts of my colleague the Minister for Trade and Investment and others that we are seeing increased trade with countries such as Ghana, and I was very proud to see British firms operating there. I believe that the largest single private sector employer in Ghana is a firm run by a Brit. We should all be proud of the contribution that those firms are making.

 

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie, said:

“I am proud to be working as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, as we exit the EU and re-engage with trading partners around the world.

“Withdrawing from the European Customs Union will allow us to strike new trade deals with the rapidly growing economies of Africa and Asia.

“Conservatives recognise competition and trade lead to the best outcome for everyone regardless of their socio-economic background. That principle does not stop at the white cliffs of Dover.

 “Not only is globalised free trade leading to rising prosperity in both the developed and developing world, it has also led to fascinating cultural exchanges and diaspora in its wake.

“Embracing our post-Brexit free trade future is about more than boosting exports in Pounds and pence. It is an opportunity to regain control of our country’s destiny and re-engage with the rest of the world.”

ENDS

  1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
  2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
  3. He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
  4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
  5. He is Patron of the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) and was Chair of the PSC between 2010 and 2015.
Ghana’s warm reception shows the opportunities for post-Brexit Britain

Having just returned from a flying visit to Ghana with the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, I thought I’d make some encouraging observations about UK-Ghana relations.

My role, as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, it to boost our trading relationship with Ghana. It is notable that our Foreign Secretary chose Ghana as one of his destinations on his first visit to the region.

I am pleased to report that the meetings we held with President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Ministers were as warm and cordial as they were productive and workmanlike.

This was my second trip to Ghana in as many months, the first being in January as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government at President Akufo-Addo’s Inauguration.

Like every other Ghanaian election in recent memory, the 2016 Presidential and General Elections were universally recognised as being free and fair, and the transfer of power, despite a close result, was peaceful and successful.

Good democracies make for good trading partners and Britain’s trade with Ghana is booming. Bilateral trade re-crossed the £1bn threshold in 2015 and there is every reason to expect that figure to climb especially with the level of engagement at the highest levels of Government.

There are great opportunities for British investors in Ghana and a huge range of businesses where investors can find a home. We are world leaders across many of the sectors that Ghana seeks market expertise in; from financial, professional and technology services to the creative industries, aerospace, construction and even bridge building. There is huge potential to enhance our trading partnership over the coming years.

The new Ghanaian administration are quite clear: they want to see the private sector create the jobs and prosperity needed to boost the Ghanaian economy. This desire has be encapsulated into a manifesto commitment to see a factory in every district and the UK is well positioned to assist with both investment and expertise.

Post-Brexit Britain is very much open for business and we stand to benefit as much as the Ghanaian people.

To find out more about opportunities for UK businesses overseas visit the Exporting is Great website. 

Parliament has voted for Britain’s revival

This week my vote to give the Prime Minister the authority to trigger Article 50 was one of the most significant I have cast since I was elected as an MP almost 12 years ago.

Brexit, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, is perhaps the biggest single political issue in a generation. Other than the alarm caused by the prospect of a third runway at Heathrow, there is no issue on which I have received more correspondence.