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AGI calls for speedy formulation of national strategy for AfCFTA Implementation

Business & Finance AGI calls for speedy formulation of national strategy for AfCFTA Implementation
JAN 19, 2022 LISTEN

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has appealed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to expedite the formulation of the national export strategy.

The strategy, which is being prepared by the Ministry, will guide the export of Ghanaian products to other countries under the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

It will also enable companies to identify the categories of products (non-sensitive, sensitive, and exclusion list) they would want to export, modify, and make marketable.

Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, AGI President, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, said, there had been delays in the formulation of the strategy and called of it to be fast-tracked.

He said though the Ministry started with a Working Committee to have the document in place, a year after commencement of the free trade, not much had been done.

He, therefore, called on the Ministry to speed up the drafting of the document to enable Ghanaian companies to take full advantage of the opportunities of the intra free African trade.

“With the national strategy, we can identify the three categories of the product, including the exempted and preferential ones through the harmonised code, then we will know the tariff regimes, and the other countries that are ready,” he said.

Dr Ayim-Darke noted that although Kasapreko Company Limited and Ghandour Cosmetics Limited exported their products, the recipient countries were not fully ready in terms of compliance.

“A number of countries have signed on. However, their custom systems that must be harmonised is still not completely ready. So, I may choose to be exporting products to a neighbouring country and granted that the custom systems are not well harmonised, you might still face difficulties in exporting,” he noted.

“They have brought in the payment system that will facilitate [the free trade], but other technical issues; quality, rules of origin and identifying the product are critical. we expect the Ministry and the AfCFTA team to speed up on them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AGI President said the Ministry had been training about 100 Ghanaian companies on how to be competitive and fine-tune their products for to enter the market and export.

Mr Alan Kyeremateng, the Trade Minister, following the commencement of trade under AfCFTA, assured that the Government would ensure the inclusion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the implementation process.

The trade agreement, with a potential combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about $3.4 trillion aims at creating a single market for goods and services to deepen the economic integration of Africa.

GNA

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