The Ministry of Trade and Industry also estimates that Ghana, which signs the agreement, will save a total of 400 million euros per year in export taxes to the European Union (EU) due to the abolition of taxes paid on Ghana`s exports to the EU after the signing of the agreement. EU Ambassador to Ghana William Hanna welcomed the decision and said the new agreement would provide a predictable long-term framework for increasing trade and investment between the two countries. The coordinator of the Third World Network, Dr Yao Graham, previously told Citi Business News: “Overall, the EPA will not benefit Ghana or West Africa. The EPA will lead to job losses and other livelihoods… In manufacturing and other industrial sectors, the EPA will cost about 40,000 jobs in ten years. We also assume that there will be a collapse of the domestic industry, especially in the manufacture of life… It will also jeopardize ECOWAS` economic integration and the broader process of intra-African trade and result in lost government revenue from tariffs. ACTIONAID, 2013. Ghana as part of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union: Impact on Socio-Economic Development. [Online] www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/actionaid_ghana_research_-_ghana_under_interim_epa_and_implications_for_socio-economic_development.pdf [Access: 15 July 2014] This paper examines Ghana`s trade with the EU under the new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The study aims to study the influence of CEPOL on trade from a Ghanaian perspective. An analysis will be carried out using qualitative methods focusing on the review of the trade literature of Eurostat, the European Commission for Trade and Ghana`s Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as other relevant sources, to highlight the impact of the trade agreement on Ghana`s trade sectors. Commercial data from 2005 to 2015 were used for analysis.
The study concludes that while the agreement has improved trade facilitation and trade in services, it does extend negatively to trade in goods. The inability of Ghanaian manufacturers to compete with European imports threatens the sector. In addition, Ghana`s exclusion list is insufficient to protect agricultural trade, particularly in the absence of tariff measures. Finally, a regional EPA is expected to degrade Ghana`s competitive position in the regional market. In view of these results, combined with the diminishing attractiveness of the EU market to Ghanaian exporters, the document recommends a review of the EPA conditions. The study also recommends strengthening EU commitments and efforts (aids) to overcome tariff losses and other adjustment costs associated with the EPA. The IEPA agreement obliges Ghana to liberalise an overwhelming share of its imports from the EU, although it lacks clarity on some key issues, such as the basis of the decision on how economic sectors will be affected in this situation and how to achieve Ghana`s stated EPIs targets. In December 2007, Ghana and the EU signed the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA), which provides a framework for trade. This followed the imminent expiration of the Cotonou agreement, which had existed since 2000. The ECOWAS regional organization supported the entire EPA in July 2014 following a review of the issues raised by Nigeria. Although the EPA`s objectives are simple in terms of increasing productive investment and job creation in Ghana and West Africa, as well as intensifying and facilitating trade between Ghana (and the ECOWAS region) and the EU towards a win-win development relationship; We conclude that the achievement of these lofty objectives cannot be achieved without a serious commitment to the reform of the business environment, in particular the supply constraints that many companies face on a daily basis.