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 Full text 
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 - Brussels Revised edition

EU-Ghana Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement (debate)

  Jarosław Wałęsa, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, first of all I would like to congratulate the rapporteur on his great work and I would like to support his recommendation to give consent to this agreement, which opens up the door to its provisional application. West Africa is our largest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the European Union contributes to economic growth and development in the region and is the main export market for West African agriculture and fisheries products.

The deal on the Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement with Ghana and Ivory Coast ensures a contractual safety net warranting a duty-free quota, free access to the EU market, and asymmetric gradual opening of Ghana’s market to EU goods until the regional agreement comes into force. Moreover, the interim agreement includes provisions on development cooperation, trade defence and trade facilitation measures including sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

Furthermore I wish to call for swift implementation of this economic partnership agreement. If it comes into place without excessive delay, any discrepancies in tariff liberalisation schedules and tariff lines would be solved without any need for additional adaptation to the regional processes, which is highly advisable.

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