The Trades and?Industry?Minister, Haruna Iddrisu?is urging?concerned groups and organizations to be assured?that government will protect the interest of Ghana regarding the signing on to the?Economic Partnership?Agreement (EPA).
This follows a petition presented to the President by the Trades Union Congress (TUC)?with support from civil society organizations?to stop government from signing on to the EPA.
According to the TUC, the?Christian?Council of Ghana, the Ghana?Chamber of Commerce, the Socialist Forum, and the Economic Justice Network of Ghana are stating that the agreement is not in the best interest of the country.
The?Foreign Affairs?Minister is to attend an ECOWAS Council of Ministers meeting in Ivory Coast on Tuesday to advise ECOWAS heads of state on the signing of the EPA while the technical committee is expected to present a report to the heads of state for the conclusion on the matter.
The EPA allows countries to?export goods?to the EU without tariffs or maximum quotas, under?World Trade Organization?rules.
The?European Parliament?has granted the African countries an extension until October 2014 to ratify their interim EPAs.
In an interview on?Eyewitness?News?on Monday, Haruna Iddrisu disclosed urged the concerned groups to ?wait to be?guided?by what?decision?the ECOWAS heads of state will take.?
He disclosed that the ?technical committee has completed some negotiations with the?EU but?it?s subject to the?endorsement?or rejection of the ECOWAS heads of state.?
He indicated he will not be able to preempt the decision which might be?taken but??we recognize that the EU are our major?trading partners?and I?m sure we will reach a mutually beneficial pact with them [EU].?
Mr.?Iddrisu?assured Ghanaians that?government?will be guided by the agreement arrived at by the ECOWAS group because ?we are not?standing?alone in these negotiations and we will do what will better protect ournational interest.?