Business News of 2014-04-16

EU to form strategic partnership with Ghana

The European Union (EU) Delegation in Ghana has pledged to provide continuous assistance for Ghana, particularly in the areas of peace and security.

That, it said, was in view of the government’s efforts at addressing the current economic difficulties facing the country.

According to the delegation, the EU wanted to shift emphasis from only serving as donor support for Ghana to forming a strategic partnership with the country and other African states for the mutual benefit of the peoples of Africa and Europe.

The Head of the delegation, Mr Claude Maerten, made this known at the second EU-Ghana Political Dialogue meeting at the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday.

Those from the EU side included the envoys from Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, France, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

On the Ghana side were the Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Hannah Tetteh; the Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu; the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mr Nayon Bilijoe, and a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson.

Trade and investment

Mr Maerten said the EU Delegation was interested in how to implement its partnership with Ghana and the rest of Africa, noting that the EU’s interest in Ghana was now more in trade and investment.

He said the country had assumed a wider status in world economic affairs as a result of the prudent measures it had put in place to resolve its economic difficulties.

Peace, security in Africa

Touching on peace and security in Africa, Mr Maerten reiterated the EU’s commitment to support the country in its maritime peace and security initiatives, adding that the election of President Mahama as Chairman of the ECOWAS should serve as an opportunity to promote peace on the continent.

While condemning the bombings that claimed lives in Abuja on Monday, he urged President Mahama to use his position in the ECOWAS to show the way by being an advocate for peace in Africa.

Vice-President

The Vice-President told the delegation that the government had decided to hold a national forum on the economy in June, this year, to build a consensus on which path to chart to resolve the current economic difficulties.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said the Ministry of Finance had already developed a document that would serve as a basis for the forum.

Other issues discussed at a closed-door meeting included the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and its implications for Ghana, specific country support for the implementation of the EPA, maritime security and EU regional programming for peace, security and regional stability.

The meeting also discussed the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Ghana.