Namibia misses out on lucrative UK trade deal

September 20, 2022 346

Namibia’s contentious classification as an upper-middle-income nation by the World Bank will result in the country missing out on a new deal to export goods duty free to the United Kingdom, The Brief has established.

The new scheme, which will come into force early next year, replaces the old UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences that had rolled over from EU membership, and allows 99% of goods imported from Africa to enter the UK duty free.

 However, British Deputy High Commissioner to Namibia Charlotte Fenton told The Brief that Namibia is not included in the 65 countries that will benefit from the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). 

“The Scheme has been designed to harness the power of trade to help developing countries grow and prosper.  The DCTS applies to countries that benefit under the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (UK GSP).  This includes 47 countries in the Least Developed Country Framework and an additional 18 countries or territories classified by the World Bank as low-income and lower-middle-income countries,” she said. 

The envoy added that although Namibia is not a beneficiary of the DCTS, an Economic Partnership Agreement is in force between the UK and the SACU countries plus Mozambique, which of course includes Namibia. 

“The EPA provides duty-free access to UK markets for partner exports alongside a broader scope of commitments on both sides.  The aim of the EPA is to promote increased trade and investment, and to contribute to sustainable growth and poverty reduction,” Fenton said. 

Under the EPA, Namibia and the other SACU members, in turn, remove tariffs and quotas for 85% of the UK's exports. 

She said the DCTS – which covers 37 countries in Africa, 26 in Asia/Oceania, and two in the Americas – will come into effect in January next year and will reduce the participating countries’ import costs by over N$1.5 billion (£750 million) per year. 

“Helping to reduce prices and increase choice for UK consumers and businesses, particularly for clothes and food.  This is one of the most generous sets of trading preferences of any country in the world and demonstrates the UK’s commitment to building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with emerging economies that are home to more than 3.3 billion people,” she said, adding that the DCTS contributes to developing countries’ integration into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment partners for the future, and strengthening UK supply chains.  

Fenton said this will grow free and fair trade with developing countries, boosting the economy, and supporting jobs in those countries.

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Last modified on Friday, 23 September 2022 02:01