The United Kingdom chose Brexit not because it does not like Europeans, but because the UK believes the future of trade lies in a broader relationship with the fastest-growing regions in the world – Asia and Africa.
Financial Times reveals that Nick Latta, Councillor: Prosperity at the UK High Commission in SA said this.
The UK official was talking to delegates at the Africa Ports and Rail Evolution conference in Durban on Wednesday. Latta explained that the goal set by the UK was to be the largest G7 investor in Africa in six years’ time.
According to the diplomat, the UK has big ambitions for trade with Africa, and especially South Africa, which is a leader and influencer for rest of Africa.
“It is clear South Africa is a gateway for many businesses wanting to enter Africa, and many large African companies have headquarters in Johannesburg,” Latta said.
In January 2020, London will host the African Investment Summit, an example of what is being done as part of the focus on African investment by the UK.
Brexit: An opportunity for Africa?
While some observers think the UK leaving the European Union will affect trade an investment, others see it as an opportunity for Africa.
Experts say African governments need to redefine their trade and diplomatic relations with a post-Brexit Britain and Europe to make this work.
The reason why trade and investment will be affected most by Brexit, according to Africa renewal is because, most of the trade arrangements the UK has with African countries were negotiated through the EU.
This means the agreements will cease to apply or will have to be renegotiated when the UK finally leaves the EU, a process that will take two years from the time it officially informs the EU of its intention to pull out.