The European Union (EU) remains supportive towards Ghana’s quest of achieving industrial transformation through the importation of machinery under the EU-Ghana interim Economic Partnership Agreement, the Ambassador of the EU in Ghana, Mr Irchad Razaaly, has said.
According to him, there was the need for Ghana to focus on value addition in the production of goods and services in order to benefit from the iEPA and the importation of the machinery would make it possible.
Mr Razaaly disclosed this at a workshop organised by the EU in collaboration with the government of Ghana in Accra yesterday.
The workshop focused on the opportunities and challenges for Ghanaian businesses under the EU-Ghana iEPA.
The iEPA, implemented in 2016, is a development-focused agreement between Ghana and EU which aims at increasing trade and reduce trade barriers, in particular the tariffs imposed on imports of products originating in EU and Ghana.
Mr Razaaly said the EU were prepared to assist Ghana under the iEPA export processed products on the EU market through the importation of machinery and tools needed for the processing.
Moreover, he explained the EU was particular about the standard of products imported and exported on the EU market and as such put in place dedicated programmes to ensure that companies meet the required standards.
“There are some standard requirements. Most of them are linked to the health of consumers, especially, when it comes to food and we have programmes such as the Rules of Origin specifically dedicated to help entrepreneurs and companies to meet the requirements to make it to the European market,” Mr Razaaly said.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Hebert Krapa noted that the iEPA was beneficial as Ghana had seen its exports to the EU double since its implementation.
Additionally, he said, the Agreement offered Ghana the opportunity to focus more on value addition which would serve as a catalyst for the country’s industrial transformation agenda.
“The iEPA has been extremely beneficial to Ghanaian exporters. We have seen our exports with the EU doubling since the implementation of the Agreement and we also see in it an opportunity to even do more,” Mr Krapa said.
“We are focusing on non-traditional exports. We also have to use that as a platform to engage more in value addition and that should catalyse our industrial transformation agenda,” Mr Krapa added.
Mr Krapa underscored the need for the government to consider the purpose of the importation of machinery under the iEPA and how it fits into the industrial transformation agenda.
He asserted that the government in its effort to improve exports would implement national export development strategy with the help of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY & CHARITY ASUKA