The UK Government has launched a consultation on new trading rules that will help countries like Nigeria grow its trade and and help British businesses and consumers at the same time. The UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is a major opportunity to grow free and fair trade with developing nations.

The proposed scheme will apply to 70 qualifying countries, including Nigeria, and include improvements such as lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for countries exporting to the UK, allowing countries to diversify their exports and grow their economies. The proposed new UK scheme will mean more opportunity and less bureaucracy for developing countries, for example by simplifying rules of origin requirements or reducing tariffs on imports. For instance, this could mean lowering tariffs on products including rice from Pakistan and raw materials from Nigeria.

The UK currently operates a similar scheme rolled over from the EU, but as an independent trading nation, it said it can now take a simpler, more generous, pro-growth approach to trade with developing countries. The UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme will apply to 47 countries in the Least Developed Country Framework (LDCF) and 23 additional countries classified by the World Bank as low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

“Cutting tariffs for poorer countries enables them to trade their way to genuine independence – and I’m proud we lead the world in offering that opportunity,” foreign secretary, Dominic Raab said. According to the International Trade secretary, Liz Truss, trade fundamentally empowers people and has done more than any single policy in history to lift millions of people around the world out of poverty.

“Now the UK is an independent trading nation we have a huge opportunity to do things differently, taking a more liberal, pro-trade approach that leads to growth and opportunity,” Truss said. The UK Government intends for its new scheme to be best in class, and has studied programs in Canada, the US, Japan and the EU, before constructing an approach that takes some of the strongest elements of each and builds on them to help form the consultation. But the programme to boost trade with developing countries comes days after the government voted to cut overseas aid.

British Deputy High Commission, Lagos said the views from Nigerian businesses and stakeholders with an interest across the globe can send in their responses to the consultation until the closing date of 12 September.

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