Gov't To Inaugurate GITC To Deal With Unfair Trade Issues In Ghana

| Updated Aug 16, 2017 at 6:00am



Ghana's Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says government will in the coming days officially inaugurate the Ghana International Trade Commission, (GITC) to deal with unfair trade issues and enhance the competitiveness of the local private sector, and contribute in making the ten key industrial transformation agenda a reality.

Vice President Dr. Bawumia announced this and more when he delivered the closing address for the 2nd National Policy Summit organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Tuesday.

The two-day Summit, which featured the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was on the theme: “The Industrial Transformation of Ghana”.

It brought together captains of industry, members of Parliament, the diplomatic community, policy think tanks, entrepreneurs and youth groups to deliberate on government policies and solicit inputs to ensure sustained growth and economic development.

He said trade and industrialisation programs of Government forms part of a Free Continental Trade Agreement agenda with the objective of creating a single market for goods and services.

According to Vice President Bawumia, Ghana will soon enjoy the privileges under the Trade Agreement that will ensure free movement of business persons to enhance investment.

In addition, it will promote intra-African trade through better harmonisation, coordination and facilitation regimes.

The Vice President said the Free Continental Trade Agreement will resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships in regional economic groups and enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise levels.

He said businesses and governments in Africa were supposed to take advantage of the Agreement by exploiting opportunities of the economics of scale, access to continental market and better re-allocation of resources across the Continent.

The Trade Agreement, the Vice President said, will bring to fruition a resolution passed by the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of States and Governments of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, which enjoined African countries to facilitate trade with each other.

He expressed satisfaction about the level of participation by the private sector since that demonstrates confidence in the Government’s industrial transformational agenda.

Vice President Bawumia said the Summit was in line with the Government’s agenda of opening up spaces for dialogue and being a listening facilitator by using bottom-up approaches for policy formulation and decision-making.

“We know that we don’t have all the ideas and solutions that is why we have to constantly dialogue and interact,” he said.

“Even with the level of the Economic Management Team and with its powerful members, we regularly called on the private sector to dialogue on policies to get their views before we take certain decisions since this is the best way we can pursue our 10-point industrial development agenda,” he said.

The Vice President said the Ministry of Trade and Industry, will in the coming months, engaged stakeholders and sensitise the business community on the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“We need your inputs; we want to encourage you to expand your perspectives on the emerging Africa. We, as government, will continue to engage in dialogue. In the end, it is your bold and entrepreneurial skills and your competitiveness that would determine how far and how much Ghana can take advantage of opportunities of Continental Free Trade,” he noted.

Ghana fully participated in the 16th Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) Forum held in Lome, Togo, from August 7-10, 2017 under the theme: “United States and Africa, Partnering for Prosperity through Trade”.

AGOA is a strategic framework through which Ghana seeks to expand bilateral trade and investment with the United States and it provides a duty free and quota free access to the US market. The Scheme was renewed in 2015 for another 10 years till 2025.

Vice President Bawumia said Government must take advantage of that preferential market and effectively utilise the Scheme by working together with the private sector and providing the needed interventions as stipulated under the AGOA.

The Vice President expressed his excitement over the vision and program that President Akufo-Addo has laid out for this country.

Adding that: "I see that if we work together Ghana is going to go places."

"You have seen some major reforms in the business environment, from registering the business to getting the necessary permits."

According to him, "reforms are coming to put in place a national Digital Address System before the end of this year. We want to begin the national ID project before the end of this year and definitely finish it next year. We want to make sure there is Mobile Interoperability by November this year. So the reforms are major, and this is what is going to transform this economy and give impetus to the trade of this country, because the trade is based on an infrastructure of policies and systems that would make us more competitive."

"We are not intimidated. We are ambitious in the reform agenda, but we know Ghanaians have the capability to implement these reforms." He said.

Vice President Dr. Bawumia commended the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Information in the preparation and running of the Summit.

He also commended members of the planning committee.