The EU-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) was signed last week, marking an important event for both Ghana and the European Union, its main trade partner.
The top spot for export to the EU is still Petroleum oil, but raw cocoa and cocoa-based products are the biggest agricultural export, and when the processed cocoa is combined (cocoa powders, paste, butter, and chocolate), it accounts for 42% of the total value of exports to the EU.
In the Introduction to the EPA, they state: “The EPA is a development-oriented free trade agreement. Under it, the EU provides duty-free, quota-free access for Ghana’s exports to the EU from the first day of application. For its part, Ghana will progressively reduce its tariffs to zero for 78% of its imports from the EU by 2029.”
Four of the top ten exports from Ghana are cocoa based – raw beans, cocoa butter, cocoa paste, and cocoa powder. As you might expect the biggest importers of these goods are the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Germany.
Ghana is Africa’s fastest-growing country with 8.8% GDP growth according to the IMF and has grown 800% over the last 20 years to 52.2bn Euro. A recent visit by the head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, Diana Acconcia , spoke to manufacturers at a forum in Accra. Ms Acconcia stated that the EU was Ghana’s second-largest trading partner and that the relationship Ghana has with the EU is unique.
Ms Acconcia explained that Ghana can export the majority of its cocoa products into the EU processed as a result of the EU’s investment into Ghana’s manufacturing sector, which has also benefited youth employment.