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EPA will harm Gambian economy

FOROYAA Newspaper, Serrekunda

EPA Will Harm Gambian Economy

By Lamin Damfa

4 June 2007

The full implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement ( EPA) by 2008, will mean that The Gambia will lose duty revenue estimated at US$40.719 million per annum representing a significant loss of 91%, said Lamin Damfa, a Senior Staff at the Ministry of Trade.

Damfa made this statement at a recent workshop organised by NaYAFS at the Baobab resort. He said with the coming into force of the Economic Partnership Agreement, imports from the European Union to The Gambia will increase by a significant margin averaging 25%, while imports from ECOWAS and the rest will decrease substantially by 62% and 64% respectively.

He said EPA may result to costly trade diversion from the European Union. According to him, the Economic Partnership Agreement would dampen efforts to promote intra-ECOWAS trade.

Damfa said, "The welfare losses in the primary sectors of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing as a result of import diversification would be significant, considering their contribution to the livelihood of the majority of the poor Gambian households."