Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has advised local industries and start-up businesses to reposition themselves in order to cash-in on opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“There are enormous opportunities from the Continental Free Trade Agreement. We have a bigger market access now; we are talking about a more-than-1 billion population. So if you are able to produce in large volumes, you can actually satisfy this market,” he said.
Mr. Akwaboah was speaking at the AGI’s 16th Western and Central Regions Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Takoradi, on the theme ‘Positioning Ghanaian Industries for Global Competitiveness’.
Established on May 30th 2019, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement seeks to among many things create a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of business persons and investments, and to expand intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation.
Mr. Akwaboah pointed out that the trade agreement presents another threat to local businesses, especially those that fail to expand and exploit the opportunities it presents.
“On the other hand, there’s a threat. If you do not develop a good strategy and develop your capacity, others will flood your market with their goods – and even the local industries that are already here will not be able to survive,” Mr. Akwaboah explained.
He therefore called on industries and businesses to take advantage of opportunities presented by the Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“So, it is imperative that we build our capacity, expand our production base with funding, technology and expertise, and identify the products we in which have competitive advantage producing for the African market,” he said.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Region Minister said: “It has been suggested that to transform the country’s economy, Ghana must embark on an industrialisation agenda that will depart from the one that depends on the production and export of raw materials to become a value-added industrialised economy.
“To shift from mere rhetoric to concrete action, government has taken bold steps to see to the establishment of one factory in each of the districts across the country,” he added.
He said AfCFTA will among other benefits enable countries that are signatory to the agreement access a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$2.5billion.
This, he stated, will position Ghanaian industries to fully leverage on opportunities created by the agreement; but otherwise, Ghana runs the risk of being marginalised.
He commended the AGI for continuous engagements with the Western Regional Coordinating Council aimed at enhancing economic growth in the region.