Economic Trade Zone EU ambassador to Ghana hails ratification of EPA

The EPA is a trade deal between Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  and the EU which enjoin member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period.

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EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna play

EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna

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The European Union ambassador to Ghana,William Hanna, has hailed Ghana's decision to sign the interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.

The EPA is a trade deal between  Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)  and the EU which enjoin member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period.

READ MORE: Interim EPA saved Ghana €400 million in export taxes to EU market

ECOWAS countries will, in turn, have one hundred percent access to the European Market except for rice and sugar.

He said: "This new agreement will provide a long-term predictable framework to help increase trade and investment. It is a win/win deal for Ghana and the European Union. Ghanaian exporting companies will preserve the duty-free preferences on the European market that today make them competitive.

"This means no quotas and no duties on all Ghanaian exports to the European market. This will protect thousands of jobs in Ghana, mainly in the agricultural sector.

"It will also encourage new investment to create more jobs in the future. In recent years Ghana has shown that it is competitive in the EU market. As Ghana moves to consolidate its status as a middle-income country, Europe will continue to partner it on its journey to create prosperity and sustainable development.

"This agreement is a stepping stone to new and dynamic relations between Ghana and the European Union."

Meanwhile, a programmes officer with the Third World Network Africa, Sylvester Bagoroo has slammed the decision by parliament to approve the EPA, saying it contained "dangerous clauses" which he expected parliament to debate on for months to get the best deal for Ghana.

READ MORE: Thousands of industrial jobs for the chop if Ghana signs EPA

He said: "We at Third World Network Africa we are disappointed with what parliament as an institution has done.  This is an agreement that was negotiated for over a decade because there were a lot of dangerous clauses in that agreement. We were expecting parliament to debate it at committee level for months."

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