Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has assured the European Union (EU) of the preparedness of member states of the West African sub-regional economic bloc to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) this year.
He was hopeful that all memberstates of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would ratify the pact in time to deepen trade relations between them and their European counterparts. Mahama, who is also chair of ECOWAS, said this in a keynote address when he officially launched the Ghana chapter of the European Business Organization (EBO).
The ECOWAS member-states are preparing to kick-start a Common External Tariff (CET) regime as one of the conditions to ensure the success of the EPAs. Mahama said he also looked forward to the 6.5 billion euro support for the sub-region and the development of its export capacity while opening 70 percent of the sub-regional market to European goods.
“EU has remained Ghana’s largest multilateral trading partner. Almost half of all our development assistance is financed by the European Union.
“This three-year program will see Ghana emerge in 2017 as perhaps the most competitive economy in the subregion,” Mahama said.
Trading with the EU alone constitutes 46 percent of Ghana’s total export, while the European businesses are the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment to Ghana, with 6.6 billion Euros investments in the last 20 years. The EU also provided 440 million U.S. dollars to Ghana in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2013.