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Business News of Sunday, 5 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

EPA won’t affect trade relations with Cote d’Ivoire – Mahama

President John Mahama has assured Cote d’lvoire that signing onto the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union will not affect trade relations between the two countries.

It would be recalled earlier this year some foreign investors were forced to freeze capital investment into Ghana, following government’s delay in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).

The latest announcement comes as a relief to most as according to them, failure by government to sign onto the deal will lead to a 19.4 percent tariff increase on exports to EU. Ghana has until October this year to sign unto the EPA. President Mahama made this remarks during a two day visit to Cote D’lvoire. He also pledged his allegiance to ensure fruitful trade relations.

“With regards to the EPA, both our countries have interim economic partnership agreement with the European Union. We had hoped that we should be able to negotiate an ECOWAS-wide EPA but unfortunately due to the Non Signature of the EPA by Nigeria and Gambia, it is obvious that Cote D’lvoire and Ghana have to enter into some transitional arrangements in order that our economies will not suffer. But even in those circumstances we will continue to work hard so that the whole sub region can have a partnership agreement so that we are able to advance our integration,” he stated.

The President added, “it is obvious that Cote D’lvoire and Ghana have to enter into some transitional arrangement in order that our economies will not suffer, but even in those circumstances we will continue to work hard so that the whole sub region can have a partnership agreement so that we are able to advance our integration.” President Mahama further congratulated Cote D’lvoire for managing to stable their economy despite severe challenges they faced as a country.

Mr. Mahama further urged the two countries to continue to work together to uphold the good trading relationship they share. “In terms of culture, in terms of economy, it is obvious there are so many similarities between us so that creates a perfect platform for us to continue to work to bring our two countries closer together.”