The Ranking Member of the Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee of Parliament, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has called for a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the recently ratified interim trade partnership agreement between Ghana and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The agreement, which will among other things allow for duty and quota-free access to the UK market for goods originating from Ghana as well as a gradual liberalization of tariffs on a majority of UK imports to Ghana, was ratified by Ghana’s Parliament last week.
The precursor to the interim agreement was the EU-Ghana Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement, otherwise known as the EU-Ghana Agreement, which came into effect on 15 December 2016.
According to data from the UK Parliament, total trade in goods and services between the United Kingdom and Ghana stood at £1.2 billion in 2019.
Top exports from Ghana to the UK include mineral fuels and oils, preparations of meat or fish, edible fruit, nuts, Cocoa and cocoa preparations as well as edible vegetables.
Top imports from the UK include worn clothing and others made up of textile articles, machinery, mechanical appliances, miscellaneous chemical products, articles of iron or steel, as well electrical machinery and equipment.
While backing the ratification of the interim agreement, Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah noted that revenue losses to be recorded in the first year of the agreement was a course for concern and called for effective monitoring to ensure Ghana benefits in the long-term.
“We earlier on asked in discussions with the Trade’s Ministry for a cost-benefit analysis, which was originally not brought. When it was finally brought it became obvious that in the first year (2021) Ghana will lose revenue to a tune of over GHS115 million representing 10.16% of total revenues from the UK. We have however not been provided with loss projections for subsequent years, and we want the Ministry to provide that information.”
“This agreement is very important, and we must sign it, but we must not take our eye off the ball. One of the things we’ve asked them to do is effective monitoring to ensure we are following the spirit and letter of this agreement,” he added.
Lack of UK-GH Brexit deal threatening jobs in tuna industry
The lack of a new trade deal between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) post-Brexit, is threatening thousands of jobs in the tuna industry in Ghana.
So far, the UK has inked post-Brexit trade deals with 13 African countries including Kenya, Ivory Coast and South Africa among others, which allows them to export some of their key produce to Britain quota-free and without paying duties.
The prospect of the UK formulating its own trade policy following Brexit was expected to have implications for the existing Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and some African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.