The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in collaboration with the British High Commission hosted a one day workshop, on the UK’s new trading scheme.
The UK officially launched the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in June 2023, which offers fast growing economies one of the most generous sets of trading preferences of any country in the world and demonstrates the UK’s commitment to building a long term, mutually beneficial relationship with Nigeria.
The DCTS means that a wide variety of products that aren’t widely produced in the UK, including food items – olive oil and tomatoes now benefit from lower or zero tariffs. The scheme sees tariff reductions on over 3000 products, thereby boosting non-oil exports in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Zero Oil Plan.
Speaking during the workshop in Abuja on Tuesday, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson said: “As an independent trading nation, the UK is one of the foremost champions of free, fair and inclusive trade. The UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme harnesses the power of trade to help Nigeria and other emerging economies grow and will boost Nigeria’s non-oil exports in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s wider trade policy priorities and Zero Oil Plan.
“As the UK Government, we’re keen to maximise uptake of the DCTS. In this respect, I’m happy to see so many Ministries, agencies and departments gathered here today, so that we can explore underlying export challenges in more detail in order to improve the economic and social wellbeing of both our nations.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Evelyn Ngige on her part noted that: “Nigeria and UK enjoy excellent bilateral relations that translate into befitting and robust programmes such as the Nigeria- UK EDF Framework, Nigeria – UK Business Dialogue and the Proposed Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership that would strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
“I wish to put on record our appreciation of the support of the Government of the United Kingdom and the commitment to improve bilateral relations between the two countries and for approving the new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS)”. The scheme which was approved in June 2023 is aimed to engender trade between sixty-five (65) Developing Countries, including Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s economic aspirations have remained that of altering the structure of production and consumption patterns, diversifying the economic base and reducing dependence on oil, with the aim of putting the economy on a path of sustainable, all-inclusive and non-inflationary growth. It is my hope that the UK Government will also favourably consider the interests of Nigerian businesses operating in the UK, to foster a mutually beneficial relationship”.
The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) covers 65 countries globally, 37 of which are African, including Nigeria.
This DCTS, which came into force on 19 June, offers fast growing economies like Nigeria one of the most generous sets of trading preferences of any country in the world.
The DCTS also helps UK businesses access hundreds of products from Nigeria at lower prices, reducing costs for UK consumers, and increasing export opportunities for Nigerians.