Gov't vows to protect local exporters under EPA

This is according to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah.

Ekow Spio Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry

According to him, the Ministry is currently seeking cabinet’s input and support on options opened to Ghana in the wake of the October 1, 2016 deadline under the current EU regulation granting Market Access to Ghana.

“In the coming weeks, hopefully in May, government will announce its position on the EPA.  Let me however assure all exporters and their employees that government has much interest in ensuring economic growth, increase in employment as well as an expansion in export trade and industry and will do whatever it takes to protect Ghanaian exports into the EU”.

Dr. Spio Grabrah made these comments when a delegation of the major exporting companies in Ghana paid a courtesy call on him in Accra, to express their concerns over a possible lack of Market Access into the EU by October 1, 2016 deadline.

Explaining the situation, the Director of Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Anthony Nyame Baafi said with the exception of Nigeria, the Gambia and Mauritania, 13 of the 16 ECOWAS countries have signed the EPA.

“Unfortunately in order to ratify the EPA, all the West Africa countries need to have signed in line with the modalities in the EPA negotiations before its implementation could commence,” he emphasized.

Mr. Baafi indicated that there were four policy options opened to Ghana under the current circumstance which included seeking an extension of the current EU regulation granting Market Access to Ghana and other Interim EPA (IEPA) eligible countries from October 1, 2016 to October 1, 2017.

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