Minister of State for Trade Policy Lord Price will visit South Africa and Namibia this week to meet trade ministers from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique to discuss ways to avoid disruption to our current trading relationship.
While there he will also meet trade associations and local businesses. The UK government is committed to working with the Southern African regions and nations across Africa, building upon the announcement by the Prime Minister at the G20 Summit to support trade, investment and growth in Africa.
The visit comes after the recent joint commitment by Dr Liam Fox and Priti Patel to protect duty free access to the UK for 48 developing countries around the world.
Ahead of his visit, Lord Price said:
This visit shows the commitment of the British government to securing trade links in both developed and developing countries around the world. As we look towards our future outside the EU, we will continue to be a champion for free trade and an advocate for the benefits trade can bring, socially as well as economically.
I am excited to be travelling to South Africa and Namibia this week, to strengthen existing trading links with the region and build a mutually beneficial trading partnership. These discussions will allow us to continue to work together into the future to generate employment, prosperity and investment through free trade.
Lord Price will attend a roundtable with SACU and Mozambique trade ministers to begin discussions over how to work together to build on our existing trading relationship after the UK leaves the EU.
At this roundtable, Lord Price is expected to meet representatives from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland – all 6 of which are partners in the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Southern Africa. This development-focused trade agreement aims to create the right conditions for trade and investment to accelerate growth, helping to support regional integration and poverty eradication. Discussions are also likely to focus on steps to replicate as far as possible the effects of the EPA once the UK has left the EU.