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03.10.2008 Business & Finance

Let`s enter into WTO agreements with dignified interdependence – Kufuor

By Stephen Odoi Larbi - Ghanaian Chronicle

President John Agyekum Kufuor has demanded that the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union (EU) partnership should look for new modalities that would facilitate their respective entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements competitively, profitably and with dignified interdependence.

This comes amidst growing public resentment of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and member countries of the Group that seek to open up their market to European goods, pending conclusion of the WTO talks.

President Kufuor said fair International Trade systems should be put in place to make the economies of Developing Nations productive enough to transform the lives, and to empower their people to take advantage of the ever-increasing opportunities, and to help them integrate meaningfully into the world and impact positively on their development.

About 2,000 delegates, including some Heads of States and Governments of the 79 member-nation Organisation, as well as representatives of international organizations are attending the two-day Summit.

It is being held under the theme - “Promoting Human Security and Development.”

The EPAs, Climate change and the impact of the soaring food and crude oil prices are key issues dominating the discussions.

President Kufuor noted that human security and development that is needed to focus on the youth, who should be nurtured into the mainstream of globalization with competences and self-confidence, to feel as an equal partner in the market.

He said it was, therefore, unfortunate that donor assistance to complement resources of Developing Countries for institutional building and human resource development to transform their nations had not been substantial enough.

Another source of concern was that “aid” had tended to be given, more as charity than an economic factor for development, and for that matter had not been coordinated to make the requisite dent on the problems of poverty, unemployment, high levels of illiteracy and disease.

These shortcomings, he said, combined to incapacitate the Developing Countries in their efforts to add value to the raw material they produced. GNA