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18.01.2006 Business & Finance

Establish Independent Tariff Advisory Board

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 18, GNA - The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) has proposed the establishment of an independent Tariff Advisory Board to ensure that tariffs are set in accordance with national development agenda rather than for revenue.

The Board is to improve the transparency and predictability in the import/ export regime and remove inconsistencies from existing tariffs and mechanisms for granting exemptions, and streamline permits. Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Sector Minister, announced the proposal at the inaugural meeting of the Consultative Group of the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP) in Accra on Wednesday.

The establishment of the Board is one of the expected outputs of streamlining tariff and non-tariff measures to enhance the performance of the import and export sub-sector.

Mr Kyerematen said trade development was a national vision; and Ghana needed to build on the stable economic environment, develop its industry and trade to increase the annual growth rate from the present five per cent to eight percent in order to increase the capita income to achieve a middle income status by 2015.

He said it was necessary to build an automated tracking system at the country's ports to build confidence in the shipping industry, adding that increased efficiency was a booster to trade, with the opportunity of Ghana to become the "Dubai" of the West African Sub-Region. Mr Kyerematen said about 90 per cent of the enterprise base of Ghana was small or medium scale, and reminded Ghanaian investors to seek investment assistance from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centres since it was not only to provide assistance to foreigners only. He called on vocational and technical training institutions to tailor their training, which had been hitherto general to specific industrial needs.

The Minister said a programme had begun at the Ministry to link every officer to a specific project, with an inter-ministerial co-ordination, in the TSSP. He announced that the Venture Capital would be operational this year, adding that there would be a programme to support the marketing of goods, through an electronic and physical market gallery as well as a programme to develop major market centres to ease the congestion of markets in the Accra and Kumasi.

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