Yesterday, the United Kingdom and Côte d'Ivoire signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), maintaining existing trade arrangements. Minister for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena signed the agreement with Her Excellency Sara Affoué Amani, ambassador of Côte d'Ivoire to the United Kingdom, in London. The agreement allows businesses to trade as freely as they do now, without any additional barriers or tariffs.
Total UK - Côte d'Ivoire trade ended up at £401 million in 2019. Top imports to UK from Côte d'Ivoire were in cocoa beans and cocoa preparations (£192 million), and edible fruit and nuts, mostly bananas (£22 million). The UK market accounts for 23 percent of total exports of cocoa butter from Côte d'Ivoire, as well as 6 percent of bananas.
Menafn.com quoted Minister Ranil Jayawardena as saying: “The preferential trading terms, secured by this agreement are part of HM government's commitment to supporting developing countries by reducing poverty through trade. Through providing tariff-free market access to Britain, this agreement supports jobs and economic development in Côte d'Ivoire. It will underpin trade in processed cocoa and bananas, supporting the livelihoods of Ivorians working in these sectors and guaranteeing access for British consumers.”