Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ghana safest destination for opportunities under AfCFTA — Trade Ministry

Ghana still remains the safest destination for investors seeking to explore opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Mr Anthony Nyame-Baafi, a Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) has said.

Speaking at the Intra-African Trade Conference, Mr Nyame-Baafi said the country’s stable economic outlook, competitive business environment and political stability made it the best among peers on the continent to attract partnerships from multinational companies.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) in collaboration with The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) under GIZ’s Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation in Ghana hosted the conference.

It was on the theme: ‘AfCFTA – opportunities for investment and job creation in Ghana,’ and provided an opportunity for potential investors to acquire knowledge on how best to exploit the prospects of the AfCFTA market by setting up in the country.

Mr Nyame-Baafi said the government had put in place the necessary measures to enable the country to benefit from increased investment, both local and foreign under the AfCFTA.

“Ghana has put in place enough trade and transformation plans as well as investment promotion measures and is ready for both local and foreign investments under AfCFTA,” he said, adding that the country has also developed a national action plan to complement the government’s industrialization agenda.

There is also institutional mechanisms and structures, including the Inter-Inter-Ministerial Facilitation Committee, National Steering Committee and National AfCFTA Coordinating Office.

He stated that technical working groups covering areas such as trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity and industrialisation, development finance, factor market integration and trade-related infrastructure – transport and communication, have all been set up to make it easy for investors to establish in the country.

Besides, the country can boast of good enabling infrastructure – energy, roads, sea ports, airports, telecoms, educated and skilled manpower and access to commercial justice among others, which make it a top preferred destination for investment within the AfCFTA market area.

“AfCFTA is a major milestone towards regional integration and remains a viable vehicle for industrialisation and economic transformation of African countries.

The initiative will boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation, foster structural transformation, improve food security, enhance economic growth and export diversification and above all, provide the fresh impetus and dynamism to economic integration in Africa,” he added.

Mr Humphrey Dake, Vice President in charge of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) of AGI said more needs to be done to enable local businesses, particularly SMEs, to participate actively in the free market area.

He said while the agreement presented an opportunity for Ghanaian companies to export to other countries, businesses in African countries also have the chance to export to Ghana.

In this direction, he said, it was critical for the government to support the country’s SMEs to make the most out of the agreement.

Stefanie Simon, Head of Competence Center Private Sector Development and Projects, AHK Ghana said the organisation was ready to support and accelerate intra-African trade and business.

Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General Ghana Standards Authority said Ghana had a remarkable opportunity to utilise the AfCFTA to create opportunities for investment and for jobs.

He said the rapid industrialisation agenda of the government including 1D1F, Planting for Food and Jobs, and Automotive Development Programme, among others, require a solid quality infrastructure to translate programmes and activities into high paying jobs and sustainable investments with a good return on investments

“A key tool that government can use is a progressive, world-class standards regime to make Ghana open to trade with Africa and the world,” he added.

Mr David Ofosu-Dortey, a Senior Partner at AB and David, said businesses needed to plan ahead to be able to benefit from AfCFTA.

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