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General News of Friday, 2 May 2014

Source: peacefmonline

We will not hasten to sign EPA – Mahama assures

President John Dramani Mahama has assured Ghanaians he will not hasten to append the country’s signature to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), at least not before a thorough review of the whole pact is done.

President Mahama stated, “…government is taking all views and concerns of all stakeholders including labour, consumers and exporters into consideration. Those views and considerations will absolutely inform any decision that we eventually take, which I assure you, will be in the best interest of Ghana.”

There is pressure on government in recent times, over the trade pact with the EU which could give Ghanaian importers unlimited access to the European Union market.

However, there is a school of thought that holds the view that Ghana has not done any assessment to ascertain the true benefits of the EPA and the disadvantages that may come with it.

This stems from the fact that Nigeria has done a fiscal impact assessment and believes that signing the EPA will cost them 1 trillion dollars.

However, there are others who also believe that the EPA will provide the best trade access to the EU market than any other regime and not signing could spell doom for the country’s economy.

During his address at the May Day parade, Mr. Kofi Asamoah, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) further impressed on President Mahama not to sign the EPA “in its current form” and in a response, the President allayed his fears by pledging to take all views and concerns onboard.

He also disclosed that there will be a meeting with Ghana’s neighbours in Accra on the EPA later this month, to review the pact and “renegotiating some aspects of it”.

The president also gave indication that the economy is recovering and assured that the future is bright.

According to him, though some of the ‘home-grown strategies’ being implemented to revive the economy are harsh, “I assure you my countrymen and women, that these measures are achieving the desired effect and the economy is gradually responding.”

“This year is a turn-around year for Ghana and I am positive that the Ghanaian economy will show strong signs of recovery by the end of this fiscal year,” he stated.

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