Business News of 2014-05-07

Gov’t must sign EPA – FAGE

The Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) has urged government to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The federation believes Ghana will be at an advantage if it signs the agreement. President of the Federation, Anthony Sikpa, told Citi Business News “government should sign it, it’s not just the trade arrangement that is involved we have essential areas we are overlooking”.

There has been enormous opposition from labour, civil society and the Christian council against any attempt by Ghana and ECOWAS to sign onto the EPA with the European Union.

There have also been calls by some business associations for government to sign onto the agreement.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) for example believes Ghana’s goal of boosting the value of non-traditional exports to $5 billion by 2017 will be endangered if the government fails to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement.

While some members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) mostly the tuna, fruit processors and exporters and other companies exporting into the European market, are fully behind the agreement.

Ghana and the EU in 2007 initiated an interim EPA to conform to the world trade organization (WTO) requirements for preferential trade deals between WTO members.

Mr Sikpa tells Citi Business News government must seek markets for local business.

‘This EPA is a trade agreement and its citizens of EU that are pushing their governments to do this and we should also push our governments to look for markets for us so let’s cut out emotions.

“They will in turn allow you into their markets but they will not lower their standards for you, so we need to build the capacity of our people so wherever they are, they can compete well,” he said.