A number of businesses in the Ashanti Region are expected to be sensitized on the workings of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), under the auspices of the Regional chapter of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
The event, among others, is intended to inform, educate and further expose the business community in the Region to ‘all that needs to be known’ on the Africa continental trade initiative.
According to the Chairperson of AGI, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, Mrs. Afua Gyamfua Owusu-Akyaw, while AfCFTA will enhance trade among the 36 member countries, it will also position them to move from primary production to focus on secondary production of goods.
AfCFTA, which enables free movement of goods and services within member countries is largely expected to be led by the private sector. Among the numerous advantages that it offers, businesses will enjoy a slash of about 95 percent tariffs on goods at all entry points of ratified member states. With labour moving within member states to seek employment.
In view of all these opportunities offered, and with Ghana chosen to host the Secretariate, Mrs. Owusu-Akyaw, noted that there is a need to significantly improve productivity; deepen value addition as well as put in place the enablers to entice the private sector to produce more.
She added that if this is not achieved, businesses in the country would be pushed out of the competition.
It is against this background that efforts continue to be made to further enhance the understandings of businesses, including large, small and medium scale enterprises, on the operations of AfCFTA. This is hoped to help improve and position them to become competitive with the start of the continental trade programme.
The regional seminar, which comes off on February 15, 2020, in Kumasi, is being done in close collaboration with GITFIC, organisers of the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, and with the support of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
Key resource institutions slated for the event include the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Trade Fair Corporation, Ghana Immigration Service as well as the Ministry of Trade and Industries.
Mrs. Owusu-Akyaw, who was speaking at a press conference ahead of the programme in Kumasi, said with the official declaration of Accra as the Commercial Capital of Africa, AGI and GITFIC joined in a number of activities to mark the occasion.
The partnership also continues to drive the current efforts, on AfCFTA. GITFIC seeks to synchronize all regions in actualizing the benefits, opportunities and advantages of the AfCFTA for business communities across the board.
Meanwhile, with access to credit being a key concern to businesses, the AGI Chairperson acknowledged that the AGI is working in close collaboration with the government and the Ministry of Trade to ensure that industry gets reliable funding in addition to the stimulus packages introduced.