Business News of 2014-02-17

ECOWAS justifies decision to sign EPA with EU

ECOWAS says it has decided to sign the economic partnership with the European Union to protect exports from the region.

The economic grouping last month indicated that it has agreed to sign the pact very soon, following recommendations by a committee set up to review the agreement.

However, several interest groups are worried that if ECOWAS signs that agreement, it would lead to the collapse of most economies in the region.

Speaking to Joy Business from Abuja, Director of Communications at ECOWAS, Sony Ugoh says it would be difficult not to initial the agreement, looking at the current challenges facing the region.

“That has been the common, if you like, denominator for those that are negotiating the position of West Africa, that this impending agreement must achieve the objective which the heads of state have indicated, that is the development of the region – that has been paramount.”

The Economic Partnership Agreement allows Ghana to have 100 percent access to the European Market except for rice and sugar, while EU countries will have 75 percent access to the Ghanaian market duty free and quota free.

According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Ghana is expected to lose 300 million dollars in revenue every year if it signs the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.