AfCFTA consultant with Frontier Market Advisors, Dode Seidu, has urged stakeholders to take pending consultations on the benchmark value policy very seriously.
He said while there has been a suspension on the intended implementation of a reduction policy reversal, stakeholders should reach a conclusion that balances trade facilitation with revenue generation.
The Country Director of CUTS International Accra, Appiah Kusi-Adomako, has declared his stance is with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) as far as the benchmark value policy debate is concerned.
Speaking on the Eye on Port programme, he intimated that he leans toward the approach of government to protect local industries.
It will be recalled that one of the major proponents for scrapping the benchmark value discount policy is the AGI, which says the boost given to local traders consequently cripples local industries.
According to the local manufacturers, discounts applied on import duties give import-based traders competitive advantage in the market – thus running local producers out of business.
With this perspective, the trade expert from CUTS International expressed opposition to government policies which discourage the growth of local industries.
He expressed that it is common practice worldwide for deliberate policies to be fashioned for developing local manufacturing industries, and as such government should toe that line to realise the nation’s long-term ambitions.
“If you pin importation against domestic production, I will choose domestic production. This is the way that will build the country. No country has ever developed with unlimited access to imported goods at lower tariffs. When you do that, you kill your industries and there will be no appetite for people to invest in the manufacturing sector,” Mr. Kusi-Adomako articulated.