AGI backs GITC to cure trade malpractices

…as it inaugurates nine-member GITC Private Sector Committee

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has indicated its strong backing to the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) as a trade institution that will help to sanitise and protect the interest of businesses in the country.

“Our biggest challenge has been has been the lack of a legal and regulatory regime to receive complaints, investigate and adjudicate instances of unfair trade practices faced by the business community.

The GITC, as we see today, comes after a long haul of advocacy and we welcome such an important trade commission,” vice president of the AGI, Humphrey Ayim-Darke, said at the inauguration of a nine-member committee to work closely with the newly constituted board of the GITC, in Accra.

He added: “Our advocacy for an international trade commission was borne out of necessity; the absence of such as an institution has been a major limitation in our trade arbitration.

Cases of special import safeguard measures such as anti-dumping duties and tariff adjustments have suffered delays and sometimes ended in limbo.”

Ghana as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is enjoined to open its borders to trade; where it ensures unrestricted access to goods from other WTO member countries onto its market.

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Having such as over-liberalised economy, without the requisite checks and balances, has led to the influx of imports on its market, with local manufacturers lamenting over instances of dumping, smuggling and non-payment of applicable duties and taxes on such imports.

The WTO, however, grants rights to member countries to formulate rules and measures that will be captured in a document as its trade remedies. Trade remedies primarily seek to control the flow of imports from sister member countries and also to protect specific anchor industries.

The documented trade remedies should include specified anti-dumping measures, safeguard measures and countervailing measures.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who inaugurated the GITC board earlier this month, tasked it to ensure that trade practices in the country conform to the rules and regulations governing the world’s trade system.

He was also emphatic on the need for the board to work against dumping to protect local manufacturers to strengthen their ability to satisfy market demands.

According to Mr. Ayim-Darke, the AGI considers the institution of the GITC very timely, especially coming on the heels of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), where the economy will soon be opened to a single continental market for goods, services and investments.

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“International trade has undergone various dynamics and reforms that Ghana cannot be left out; we ought to adopt some of these reforms in order to align our trade practices to the rest of the world,” Mr. Ayim-Darke noted.

AGI’s GITC Private will be working closely with the newly constituted board of the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) to ensure that concerns and interest of the private business community are well represented.

The committee has been tasked to educate members of the AGI and the private business community on the work of the GITC board and to provide support as regards putting up right information or petitions.

The committee is chaired by the Tema Regional Chairman of the AGI, Dr. Dawson-Amoah, with the able support of the vice president of the AGI, Humphrey Ayim-Darke, CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah and Julius Lamptey of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Other members of the committee are; Mr. Steve Kofi Badu, Director of Marketing, Tex Styles Ghana Limited; John Defor, Director of Policy and Research, AGI; Gabriel Opoku-Asare, Director of Corporate Relations, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL); KwesiOkoh, Managing Director of Aluworks and Mr. Prabhakar of Tema Steel Company Limited.

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