For Ghanaian businesses to add value to the nation’s raw materials and export them to the European market, the European Union (EU) has committed its help.
Under the EU-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA), a project that governs trade in goods between Ghana and the EU, the EU declared it was prepared to assist local enterprises in importing machinery and technology at reduced costs for the manufacturing of completed goods.
At a press briefing on the IEPA in Accra on Monday, Mr. Irchad Razaaly, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, informed media that the Union had a sizable market for processed goods and invited Ghanaian enterprises to investigate potential in Europe.
Our goal, according to Mr. Razaaly, is to give Ghanaian businesses, the economy, and entrepreneurs the means to export the greatest products to the European market. The IEPA is in force from the perspective of the EU since 2016, and it is in effect from the perspective of Ghana as of July 1, 2021.
The Agreement intends to expand commerce and lower trade obstacles, especially the tariffs placed on imports of goods from Ghana and the European Union.The Compete Ghana Program, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the EU Delegation in Ghana jointly organized the conference.
The Conference sensitised stakeholders on the IEPA and discussed challenges faced by businesses and individuals in their quest to export their products to the EU and in Ghana.The EU import market is estimated to be worth over €2 trillion. Recent data from the EU puts Ghana’s export to the EU to the tune of €2 billion.
Mr Razaaly said prior to the commencement of the IEPA, it was “more difficult” for Ghanaian companies to import machinery with preferential tariffs to transform products and make it valuable for the EU market.
He said the EU had also identified lack of awareness as among the challenges businesses face who desired to export to Europe and assured all that the Union would continue to organize such conferences to raise awareness on existing opportunities.
“On the daily basis, I have got Ghanaian businesses and individuals approaching me that they would like to export but they do not know how to begin.
“Rules of origin can be technical and as a businessman you are not necessarily aware of all these and we are here to support and make sure you are able to make it to the European market,” he said.
Mr Nicolas Gebara, Team Leader, Compete Ghana Programme, said following the signing of the iEPA, Ghana’s exports to the EU increased from €1.19bn in 2016 to €2.27bn in 2019.“Ghana’s non-traditional exports to the EU increased by two-thirds between 2010 and 2020, equivalent to an annual growth rate of 5 per cent,” he said.
Mr Herbert Krapa, a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, said the Government would continue to support local businesses to build their capacity to be able to take advantage of the IEPA and other initiatives to access external markets.