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Ministry of Trade and Industry Interim EPA saved Ghana €400 million in export taxes to EU market

The EPA enjoins member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period, prompting fears nascent companies may collapse since most European goods are of high quality and a lot cheaper than local products.

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Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Spio Garbrah play

Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Spio Garbrah

The interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the  Economic Community of the West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) saved Ghana  €400 million in export taxes, said Mr Anthony Nyame-Baafi, Director of Regional and Bilateral Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Mr Nyame-Baafi made the disclosure at the Graphic Business/STANBIC Bank Breakfast meeting in Accra on Tuesday, July 26.

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

The figure, he said, would have been taxes and duties on Ghana's exports to the European Union.

The EPA enjoins member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period, prompting fears nascent companies may collapse since most European goods are of high quality and a lot cheaper than local products.

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

So far, 13 ECOWAS countries have signed onto the agreement except Nigeria, Gambia and Mauritania.

Mr Nyame-Baafi said Ghana would have paid €400 million in export taxes if the country had not signed the interim agreement.

Meanwhile, the coordinator of the Third World Network Dr Yao Graham has warned that Ghana risks losing 40, 000 jobs in the industrial sector of the economic in the next ten years if Ghana signs the EPA.

Speaking at Graphic Business/STANBIC Bank Breakfast meeting Tuesday, Dr Graham said: “Overall the term of the EPA are not beneficial for Ghana or West Africa. The EPA will lead to a loss of jobs and other means of livelihood

"In the manufacturing and other industrial sectors, the EPA will cost about 40,000 jobs in ten years.

“We also anticipate that there will be a collapse of domestic industry, especially in the life manufacturing sector.

"It will also undermine ECOWAS economic integration and the wider process of intra-Africa trade and lead to the loss of government revenue from trade duties,” Dr Graham said.

READ MORE: Manufacturers urged to be innovative to stay competitive

Also, Dr Graham said a study by the Network reveals that Ghana will lose $126 million in import tariffs.

The figure corroborates a study by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in which it was estimated that Ghana could lose tariff revenue to the tune of $150 million.

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