world is more connected than ever before.
The UK is linked to Ethiopia with historic ties,
business, friendship, and a wealth of common
interests. The UK is one of Ethiopia’s largest
donors, and strongly supports its ambitious
development and economic objectives.
These international connections offer huge potential
for growth in trade and investment, as long as
markets are open and countries are able to trade
freely. The fastest growing countries are those with
the fewest trade barriers. To realise potential, a
global commitment to open markets is needed.
Protectionism must not be slipped back into.
The Trade and Investment White Paper, published by
the UK government, on Wednesday, February 9, 2011,
outlines an ambitious strategy to nurture
international trade and investment relationships, to
strengthen the multilateral system, to build up its
domestic business environment, and to enable
developing countries to create their own paths to
Trade and investment are critical for the UK to
achieve strong, sustainable, and balanced growth in
the future, The White Paper demonstrates.
The opening of markets, removal of trade and
investment barriers, improvement of market access
for UK business within the EU and beyond; and
conclusion of the Doha Development Trade Talks in
2011 are advocated in the paper. It also makes a
case for the early conclusion of priority EU free
trade agreements (FTAs), supporting trade and
regional integration in Africa, strengthening the
World Trade Organisation (WTO), and working with G20
members towards these goals.
The most immediate task is to finalise the Doha
Talks. This historic agreement, once signed, will
boost the world economy by 176.7 billion dollars.
The year 2011 should be the one that the talks are
finalised. A result will benefit everybody.
Trade is not a game that some countries win and
other countries lose. It is quite the reverse.
Everybody becomes richer when trade increases. This
helps people to pull themselves out of poverty.
For this reason, the UK is redoubling its efforts to
enable developing countries to follow their own
paths to growth through trade and investment, and to
build the capacity for this, especially in Africa.
All that can be done will be done to support African
leaders to implement their plans outlined in the
1991 Abuja Treaty; to develop free trade areas in
each regional economic community (REC) as building
blocks for a continent wide customs union and
ultimately an African Economic Community (AEC).
An African Free Trade initiative is being launched
by the UK government to help break through trade
barriers like bureaucracy and prohibitive tariffs.
Africans will be supported in making trade in Africa
faster and easier, and encouraged to grow their
businesses by opening up to new markets. However,
the UK cannot do this alone and needs international
partners to join in the effort.
The government also wants to provide greater market
access for the poorest.
The UK urges all G20 countries to provide 100pc duty
and quota free access to their markets for least
developed countries (LDCs). This could increase
their exports by over 40pc.
Everybody needs to ensure that all developing
countries are able to negotiate trade agreements,
and that global trade rules reflect needs in all
countries, not only a select few.
The UK wants to build the networks that help
partnerships grow, and to get behind businesses to
support them in trading with the world. British
government ministers have embarked on a programme of
overseas visits with business delegations for
exactly this reason.
They have visited all partners in the major emerging
markets, as well as the US and partners in Europe.
This opened a huge number of doors for trade and
collaboration with businesses in other countries to
the business leaders who accompanied them.
The other side of the coin is investment. The UK is
an international hub for investors and currently the
world’s second biggest investor, with firms such as
Pittards in the leather industry and a number of
British mining companies represented in Ethiopia.
Many more British companies are expected to invest
in Ethiopia over the next few years.
Overseas investment is welcomed. The UK has more
European headquarters than any other country, and is
one of the easiest places in the world to do
business. It plans to remain so by cutting
regulations and corporation tax.
To keep on building an open global economy and
trading system that benefits all is a big challenge.
This will drive growth, jobs, and create wealth
around the world. The UK is confident that this is a
challenge the UK, side by side with its
international partners, including Ethiopia, will be
able to meet.