The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has stated that the government has put in place several trade facilitation measures that will ensure that the Ghanaian private sector benefits from the numerous opportunities that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements present.
He said the measures including the reduction in the number of inspection bodies at the country's ports and border posts, as well as the simplification of customs procedures are all geared towards ensuring that Ghanaian businesses participate fully in the Single Continental Market.
In a keynote address, read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Patrick Yaw Nimo at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday in Accra, Mr Kyerematen also noted that the government has since 2017 "removed or reduced a number of taxes" that made doing business in Ghana expensive.
"Trade facilitation measures have been introduced to simplify the trading regime to help the private sector leverage the numerous opportunities the AÍCFTA agreement presents," Mr Kyerematen said.
"The reduction in the number of inspection bodies at the Ports and Border Posts, the harmonization and simplification of Customs procedures and documentation, the institutionalized engagements between Government institutions responsible for AfCFTA implementation and the private sector operators, investments in flagship programmes of Government are all geared towards ensuring that Ghanaian businesses participate fully in the Single Continental Market".
He also assured that the government will continue to ensure that trade remedies and safeguard measures that are crucial for the protection of domestic industries are effectively implemented.
"In this regard, the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) will continue to enjoy Government support in undertaking its mandate in relation to anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures.
"Ultimately the successful implementation of the AfCFTA requires national coordination between actors at all levels. It also requires the translation of the strong political will demonstrated by His Excellency the President in support of the AFCFTA into concrete actions by officials at all levels including Public Organizations, Private Sectors Associations, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media. I am fully focused on supporting His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to deliver his mandate as the President of Ghana, which the successful implementation of the AfCFTA in Ghana is an important component".
The Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast meeting was themed: “Leveraging AfCFTA. The critical success factors".
The World Bank is projecting that the AfCFTA agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating in it.
The pact connects about 1.2 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion.
It has the potential to lift 100 million out of poverty, 30 million people from extreme poverty, and 70 million people from moderate poverty.