MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Bracknell Forest News Column: Tuesday, 21 February 2017

First and foremost I am a constituency MP, and it is an honour to represent the Windsor constituency and her constituents in Parliament.  But, in 2016 I was given additional responsibility when I was appointed the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoys – there are currently 21 covering around 50 markets – support the drive for economic growth by building upon our existing international trading relationships.

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. 

Windsor MP welcomes the Africa Free Trade Initiative Final Report

This week the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade out of Poverty (APPG-TOP) launched its Final Report into its inquiry on the UK’s Africa Free Trade Initiative (AFTi).

The AFTi was started in 2011 by the Government to explore ways to help African countries integrate into the world trade system. For the last five years it has provided support to both individual African governments and regional integration efforts, as well as informing various British Government Departments in their interactions with African governments to improving trade conditions in Africa.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the AFTi the APPG-TOP launched an inquiry to assess the progress and achievements of the AFTi so far. The Final Report also contains more recommendations to improve trade within Africa and with the rest of the world through cutting barriers to trade, improving infrastructure and encouraging greater use of technology to increase Africa’s participation in the digital economy.

The Final Report into the AFTi has also noted that Britain’s recent referendum on leaving the European Union has strengthened the arguments for deepening the partnership between the UK and Africa on trade, investment and development.

 

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the new report:

“Trade, not aid, is the silver bullet to helping developing countries create wealth and build a path to prosperity to the living standards we enjoy in the western world.

“The AFTi has greatly contributed to the discussion on reducing trade barriers within and to trading with Africa and I hope that these recommendations on cutting tariffs and dissolving the red tape that gums up trade are taken on board.

“The inquiries’ focus on technology and the digital economy is of particular interest because the UK has significant strengths in this area that can assist African participation through mutually beneficial trade partnerships.

“As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, I greatly look forward to the post-Brexit opportunities to build a non-discriminatory immigration system outside the EU, strike trade deals with fast growing economies and pursue closer links across the globe.”

 

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. The Final Report can be viewed on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Trade out of Poverty here.