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Business News Tue, 18 Sep 2007

Ghana will lose 1.8 trillion cedis annually from import duties

Kumasi, Sept 18, GNA - Mr George Ankomah Yeboah, a youth development 0fficer, said on Tuesday that the government would loose 1.8 trillion cedis annually from import duties as result of withdrawal of tariffs after joining the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of European Union next year.

This, he said, would affect socio-economic development programmes including health, education, welfare services and others, Mr Yeboah, said this at a forum on EPA and the European Union in Kumasi.

Over 100 participants including advocacy organizations, traders, farmers and the media attended the forum organized jointly by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition and the Resource Link Foundation, both non-governmental organizations. It was under the theme "A Partnership for Development and not a Free Trade Agrement; Stop the EPA's.''

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He said with the loss of revenue the government would be forced to introduce more taxes including the Value Added Tax. Mr Yeboah said the influx of foreign industries under the EPA would affect the economy since the country could not compete with advanced countries in industries and this could lead to unemployment. EPA would come into effect next year if the government signs the agreement to become member and appealed to the government to consider its negative impact on the country if it signed it.

During an open forum, participants stressed the need for the people to patronise the country's goods to protect local industries. Dr Charles Kwoseh, lecturer at the Department of Agriculture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, appealed to the media to educate the masses on the negative consequences of Ghana becoming a member of the EPA. 18 Sept 07

Source: GNA
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