Renegotiate Economic Partnership Agreement With EU
Executive Director at the Third World Network Africa, Dr. Yao Graham is asking Ghana and other West African countries to demand for a renegotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
This is because the decision by one of the biggest markets, Britain to exit the EU will be a disadvantage to countries that have signed the pact.
He said this in an interview with JoyBusiness on the sidelines of a roundtable discussion on future of cooperation between the European Union and Africa.
According to Dr. Yaw Graham, the deal was signed at the time Britain was part of the European Union. However, with the exit of Britain from the EU, it will be prudent for Ghana and other African countries to go back to the negotiation table.
Dr Graham said “The deal was signed at the time the market was big but there is a dynamic in the relations currently due to BREXIT.”
He explains that the deal at its current stage will affect the recently signed African Free Continental Trade Agreement between 44 African countries.
Ghana signed the Economic Partnership Agreement, to have access to the European Market, Duty Free Quota Free, with the exception of rice and sugar.
Even though the deal was supposed to be for the entire West African region, the biggest economy Nigeria declined to be part of the deal citing unfavorable market conditions.
There are however fears that all these agreements could have a negative impact on the industrialization agenda of the government.
The European Union promised to set up a €5 billion fund to assist countries that sign the pact, to help with any expected shocks to their economies.
The EPA is also seen as a preferential trade agreement between the EU and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, which sought to face out the trade chapters of the Cotonou Agreement that granted non-reciprocal access to EU market.
Analysts have described it as not compatible with the General Agreement on Tariff and Article XXIV under the WTO rules.