EU Trade Delegation upbeat about EPA with ECOWAS

Bern Lange, Head of the visiting European Parliamentary Trade Delegation (Left) and William Hanna, Head of EU in Ghana and Left[/caption] A 14-member European Union delegation to the country has underscored the need for a regional ECOWAS agreement, arguing that it will help maintain a good balance with a fully fledged Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) when it does come into force. In an interview with 3FM 92.7 at the end of the delegation’s visit to the country, Mr Bernd Large who was the head of the delegation expressed satisfaction with work done so far on developing a regional Economic Partnership Agreement for ECOWAS and said they expect more efforts between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Civil Society organizations, private sector operators and the media on developing the Agreement. The team was made up of six Members of Parliament from the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee paid an official visit to Ghana on 20 April, 2017 to afford the European Parliamentarians the opportunity to meet with Ghanaian authorities and Members of Parliament. It was also an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss topics of interests such as implementation process of the recently concluded interim EPAs, regional integration of Western Africa and business and investment environment.

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The team met with the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, members of the parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry headed by Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, as well as the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu. According to Mr Lange, they arrived from Ivory Coast, where they conducted similar discussions. He said the team hopes that soon there will be a national strategy in place to make trade relations between ECOWAS and the EU fairer and within laid down agreements. He said the new government of President Akufo-Addo is moving fast towards developing a sustainable agreement and hopes that soon Ghana and the sub-region will have a document and an agreement that the EU Parliament can work with. He said soon full discussions in Brussels will be done, saying there was no need to undermine the ECOWAS Partnership Agreement. On the current ban on Ghanaian vegetables, Mr Lange said he hopes the differences would be resolved for a quick return to normalcy in no time, commending Ghana’s Trade Facilitation programme as a major solution towards that goal. “Concrete steps in the pipeline. Ongoing implementations process and we will look at it in Brussels if necessary,” Lange added.
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By Gideon Sackitey| 3FM 92.7|]]>


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