The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr. Yofi Grant, has assured the local business community that implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) in Ghana will not threaten their business, but rather create significant opportunities and make them more competitive and well-positioned for the global market.
According to him, opening-up the Ghanaian market for the trading of goods and services with other African countries under the AfCTA will ensure quality in production and services – such that the Ghanaian trader will have the upper-hand in the market.
Mr. Grant made this known during a seven-member panel discussion on operationalising the AfCTA in Ghana, held on the side-lines of the just-ended three-day National Conference on implementation of the AfCTA Agreement in Ghana.
The session was intended to address the critical institutional structures needed to support implementation of the AfCTA in Ghana, and also look into the roles and responsibilities of various institutions in ensuring smooth implementation and operationalisation of the Agreement.
Members of the panel included Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority; Ms Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA); Connell Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA); Mr Frank Agyekum, Executive Secretary of the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC); Mrs. Mimi Darko, CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA); and Mr. Micheal Okyere Baafi, CEO of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA).
The session was chaired by Professor Stephen Adei, Chairman of the National Development planning Commission (NDPC).
Mr. Grant said the AfCTA puts the GIPC in an interesting position to harness and bring in significant investments as the country hosts the Secretariat of the AfCTA, adding: “The fact that we are ruling Africa’s trade regime means we can actually reposition ourselves to be the place where almost all regional headquarters should be – and can you imagine what that means”.
Additionally, he said, as an investment promotion agency the Centre is looking at reforming its laws to make Ghana comparatively competitive without compromising either the political economy or our own productive base.
“We are looking at a review of our laws to have harmony between all the multilateral and bilateral laws in Ghana; such that there is no conflict and it is easier for business to freely
invest in Ghana,” he said.
In taking advantage of the AfCTA, Mr. Grant said, there is an urgent need to improve infrastructure so as to attract more international companies.
He expressed optimism that Ghana can harness full benefits of the AfCTA in a more structured way.