Business News of 2014-03-24

Civil society groups intensify opposition to EPAs

Civil society groups appear to be doing everything in their power to stop the country from signing the full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
Joy Business gathers that the Economic Justice Network, a body comprising the Christian Council , Trade Union Congress and other civil society groups will next week petition President John Mahama on the Economic Partnership Agreement.
The various groups are trying to persuade President Mahama not to sign the full pact because it would lead to the total collapse of Ghanaian industries.
But at a recent meeting with the newsmen in Accra, the head of the European Union delegation to Ghana, Claude Maerten, said the EU in principle concluded the agreement in principle with West African Countries.
He adds that they are working on the establishment of a 6.5 billion Euro fund to take care of the expected loss in revenue when west African countries open up their economy to goods from Europe.
The Ambassador's comments appears to be in sharp contrast to the recent decision by West African minister's to engage various interest groups before signing the full EPA.
Ghana is expected to lose $300 million in revenue every year if it signs the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.
Ghana would on the other hand have 100 per cent access to the European Market.
Ghana in 2007 initialled partial EPA to have continuous access to the EU market.
The EPA seeks to allow countries like Ghana have 100 per cent access to the European Market except for rice and sugar, whiles EU counties will have 80 percent access to the Ghanaian market duty free and quota free.
Ghana and Ivory Coast are the only countries in the sub-region that have signed the interim EPA.