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General News of Saturday, 24 May 2014

Source: GNA

Ghana won't sign an EPA inimical to our economic interests - Minister

Trade Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, has said that Ghana will not rush to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement unless issues which are in the overall interest of Ghana are met.

“Ghana would like to have a healthy relationship with the European Union (EU) but Ghana will not sign any agreement that will be inimical to our international economic interests and more importantly to the economic interest of the country,” he said at an EU-Ghana Business Forum in Accra on Friday.

The forum was to bring together the European business network with relevant Ghanaian policymakers and the private sector representatives in order to promote a public-private-partnership dialogue on trade and investment issues.

He said government would do everything possible to ensure that Ghana was seen as an investment destination despite the infrastructure challenges of the country.

“We need to strategically look at infrastructure. It is not pleasant that industry does not have the needed energy for its utilization."

According to him, Ghana’s economy was EU driven and urged the EU to support Ghana to put its economy on track to protect their interest saying “Ghana would not lose the opportunity to be a rising star and that the forum which comes after the Senchi forum on the economy was much appreciated.

He noted that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) bill has been approved by cabinet and would be put before parliament to create an environment for the private sector to thrive.

Head of EU delegation to Ghana, Mr. Claude Maertrn, said in the period 2014 to 2020, the EU aims at promoting productive investment to assist in the development of Agriculture schemes mainly in the Northern savannah regions where they are most needed to combat poverty, ensure food security and appropriate nutrition.

He said the initiative would support government in the provision of the necessary infrastructure to attract more investment from the private sector in the area of agriculture and specifically in the consolidation of the value chains of specific crops important for the Ghanaian economy and the creation of opportunities for new high quality crops.

Mr. Frank van Rompaey, Country Representative of UNIDO, said a vibrant industry was key to Ghana’s economic development and called for political commitment to pursue economic transformation, realistic analytically well funded strategy, as well as process oriented multi-stakeholder flexible approach.

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