Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, has charged stakeholders in the maritime sector to act their part to support government’s aggressive industrialisation initiatives by creating the right market linkages and facilitating trade.
Addressing the 8th African Shippers’ Day in Accra, he indicated that trade facilitation and industrialisation are at the centre of the African development dialogue, to help tackle unemployment and poverty.
But the success of such interventions depends on a competitive shipping environment, he said.
“We can see sustained economic growth only when we industrialise and diversify the regional economy through value addition to increase forex earnings and import substitution.
This will help generate revenue to finance development agenda and stabilise our currency; but now that these have been identified, we must begin to realise the critical role of the shipper in connecting industry and trade facilitation.”
A competitive shipper, he said, would translate into a competitive industrial sector if other measures are put in place.
“With government’s industrialisation agenda as well as other regional trade arrangements such as the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), this is the time for shippers to lend the much needed support.”
To better serve this economic course, Mr. Kyeremanten urged governments across the region to enhance their port infrastructure and also empower corridor management institutions to enable them create the right trade linkages to boost intra-regional trade.
The 8th African Shippers’ Day, organised by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), under the auspices of the Union of African Shipper Councils (UASC), pooled together shipping stakeholders across the continent to share ideas on how to improve the lot of shippers in the region as well as stimulate the growth of the industry.
The event was on the theme: “Trade facilitation and its impact on Africa’s industrialisation.” It was meant to propose the right mix of a thriving international trade within a well-tuned economic policy framework to speed up industrialisation and the resultant enhancement of economies of the continent.
Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Benonita Bismarck, said: “Without the shipper, there will be no merchant ships and therefore the shipper must have the pride of place in the trade facilitation and industrialisation discourse.”
She congratulated shippers across the continent whose sweat and toil have contributed immensely to the development of Africa.
To the UASC, she assured that her outfit remained committed to the union’s ideals as a rallying point for shippers’ interests within the sub-region.