The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry Alhaji Amadu Sorogo has declared his support for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and wants Ghana to sign onto the agreement.
This is even before the country conducts a cost benefit analysis of the agreement following the recent selection of Trade Consultants for the exercise by the trade’s ministry.
Civil society groups, labour unions and the Christian council say government must not to sign the agreement arguing it’s not in the long term interest of the country.
According to Alhaji Amadu Sorogo, some civil society groups are deliberately misinforming the public about the prospect of the trade agreement.
He stated that,”The bottom-line is that whatever agreement that the government enters into will have to be ratified by parliament, and so before you ratify you must understand. It’s like a whole lot of versions are being given to the draft agreement and I think it is not right”.
The EPA agreement between ECOWAS and the European Union must be signed before October 1.
Alhaji Amadu Sorogo also dismissed suggestions by the Economic Justice Network-EJN challenging Ghana to pay a 52 million dollar cost and in turn not sign the EPA with the EU.
According to EJN, this alternative is better than the projected 400 million dollars Ghana stands to lose if it signs the EPA.
However Alhaji Amadu Sorogo said,” it is an agreement that we think is going to help ECOWAS and for that matter the sub region, it is something that we are already working with and we want to formalize it. What is the 52 million dollars they are talking about, it is not true”.
He spoke to Citi business news at the sidelines of a 2 day outreach program on the EU- West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement workshop with parliamentarians and civil society.
Meanwhile the European Commission Director General of Trade Sandra Gallina has defended the current EPA pact that guarantees free access to 75 percent of West African market in exchange for total liberation on the EU side.
By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana