GITFiC is concerned about the implementation of the interim EPA

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Gitfic dialogs

The Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has expressed concerns regarding the implementation of the European Union-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAI).

He said that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should reduce poverty among Africans, Ghana should compare the interim EPA with clearly defined indicators that would help improve the economic well-being of citizens.

The GITFiC raised the concerns in its September research report at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday.

The report was on: “Does the European Union-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement compromise or complement AFCFTA?”

It was co-presented by Mr. Selasi Koffi Ackom and Mr. Gerald Woode, respectively Managing Director and Principal Investigator of GITFiC.

The report said AFCFTA was one of the largest free trade areas in the world and had been described as a “game changer” and a stepping stone for African economies to improve trade among its more. 1.3 billion citizens.

“Since the creation of the AfCFTA in 2018, the community of African countries has demonstrated its commitment and determination to reap the benefits of a liberalized trading system.

“This is demonstrated by the fact that 38 countries have now deposited their instruments of ratification, Burundi being the last to do so,” the report said.

He said that although the objectives of the IEPA are straightforward in terms of increasing productive investment and job creation in Ghana, as well as intensifying and facilitating trade between Ghana and the EU towards a win-win development relationship, business experts were skeptical of its impact, especially for medium and small businesses.

“At GITFiC, we believe that although under the Interim EPA, Ghanaian companies have full access to the EU market, these companies can hardly compete favorably with production from the EU, which benefits from large economies. of scale and a good business climate.

“Ghanaian businesses face enormous challenges with high lending rates, coupled with the fact that most of these businesses fall into the small and medium-sized category,” the report said.

The GITFiC also expressed concern over the timing of the start of exchanges under the EU-Ghana Interim EPA, stating; “Whether coincidentally or not, the AfCFTA and the EU-Ghana Interim EPA welcomed trade as part of their respective agreements in July 2021.”

He said there was no doubt that the AfCFTA, which sought to boost intra-African trade, would be compromised by the preferential treatment accorded to third-party products from the EU.

“What is more worrying is that the AfCFTA is in its implementation phase with some of the protocols still at the negotiating level, and any action to thwart the successes recorded so far will have disastrous consequences for the African market and its 1.3 billion inhabitants.

The Interim EPA was signed in December 2007 and ratified by Ghana in 2016. The EU-Ghana Interim EPA has had a 15-year transition period with an asymmetric trade relationship as Ghana will have full access to the Ghanaian market. ‘EU, while around 80 percent of the Ghanaian market will be gradually opened up to EU products.

The report says that Ghana’s signing of the interim EPA means the liberalization of a significant part of its trade with the EU and that this would have significant economic ramifications due to competition with EU imports on the domestic market and declining government tax revenues.

“Beyond the immediate direct financial impact of the loss of import tariff revenue, it is expected to have a total impact of $ 1.13 billion on Ghana’s fiscal position (trade balance and deficit budget) between 2008 and 2022, i.e. 2.35% of GDP.) “

He said that although the EU-Ghana interim EPA was ratified by Ghana in 2016, it was not until July 2021 that Ghana, under the agreement, began to liberalize access to its market and plans to liberalize 80% of its EU imports by 2029.

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