Monday, August 3, 2009

Government wants to ensure good international agreements

A three-day workshop aimed at promoting Ghana's economic and international trade agreements for members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism is underway in Koforidua.The workshop, coordinated by the Friedrich Ebert Stiffung (FES), is being attended by the European Commission Delegation in Ghana, members of parliament and members of the Association of Ghana Industries. It is on the theme "Promoting Ghana's Development through International Trade, the role of Parliamentarians". Opening the workshop the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr John Gyetuah, drew the attention of the participants on marginalization of developing economies such as Ghana particularly in agriculture. He urged the participants not to be concerned only about the participation of the country in the larger international trade but also to scrutinize trade within the ECOWAS sub-region with a view to improving upon it.Mr Gyetuah said the government favoured a comprehensive regional level agreement for which reason Ghana was holding discussions with Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal to ensure that interim measures were put in place to ensure that strategic sectors of the economy were not affected by trade liberalization commitments.Mr Gyetuah said the government was interested in ensuring that commitments undertaken in the Economic Partnership Agreement, although not concluded, did not affect Ghana's agricultural produce. The Eastern Regional Minster, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, said although international trade promoted development, it must be environmentally sustainable and must show respect for the country's labour rights. He appealed to the parliamentarians to do diligent and in depth diagnosis of all trade treaties in order not to sacrifice the supreme interest of the people.

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