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Monday, 07 October 2013

EPA: Ghana stands to lose 825 million Euros by 2022 says consultant

Ghana would lose about 825 million Euros in import revenue by 2022 if it signs the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, said a consultant, Osman Mensah, at a forum which was convened in Ghana the last weekend of September by ActionAid-Ghana in collaboration with the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) of the Ghana Trade Union Congress. The trade agreement would erode the Ghanaian government’s possibility to raise import duties, he told the forum.
He noted that the country started negotiating the EPA mostly because of the fear of losing EU market access for primary commodity exports given that 95 per cent of its exports are primarily raw materials. However he said that the EPA is likely to harm the incipient manufacturing sector Ghana. He recommended to first develop a strong efficient and diversified vibrant export in sector. The current low productive capacity hinders Ghana to fully take advantage of the free EU market access offered under the EPA without subjecting the fragile manufacturing sector to severe competition, he said.
He urged the Ghanaian government to work with the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to renegotiate as a bloc the terms of the EPA in order to maximize the benefits of accessing EU market while minimizing the cost resulting from the trade barriers lowering.
Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, the General Secretary of the GAWU, reported that the EU was putting pressure on African governments to accept an inequitable agreement. He said the EPA would not benefit the people of Ghana but rather divide the region. "It does not make economic sense for Government to sign the EPA," he added.

Source: Bernama

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