GUTA asks government to flush out foreigners in retail trade

GUTA executives locating Chinese shops in Accra central lane.  Photo. Maxwell K (2).......The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has asked the government to urgently halt the activities of foreigners who engaged in retail trading at the  Accra central business district.

It said the influx of foreigners on the various Ghanaian markets have crippled the businesses of the indigenes because the foreigners bring in sub-standard products and goods for sale at cheap prices.

Members of GUTA raised these concerns when Barima Dr. Ofori Ameyaw I, president of the union visited traders in  Accra Central, to ascertain the level at which foreign businesses were thriving over the Ghanaian businesses.

He said his visit to the market followed complaints from traders about illegal retail trading activities of some recalcitrant foreigners in the markets against the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) law which states that “foreigners are not entitled to retail their products on the Ghanaian markets”.

He called for the prosecution of Ghanaians who front for the foreigners, because the law states that foreigners were not supposed to engage in the retail sector.

Ameyaw noted that “Now shops within the Accra central business district is being rented for about $100,000, which the indigenes cannot afford, and due to this, foreigners have taken the commanding height of  Ghanaian businesses”.

Barima Ameyaw urged government to urgently take appropriate action to resolve the issue, saying “We are serious and we will not sit down for our business to be taken  over, they keep importing low quality goods here, but local businesses are rather blamed for importing goods into the country to depreciate the cedi”.

Some traders who spoke to The Ghanaian Times expressed disappointment at government’s quietness on the issue for the past five years.

“I am a shop owner, but when I come to work most of the time I don’t sell anything from morning to noon because the Chinese have taken over our market, people are buying from them  because they bring in cheap goods of which some are poisonous and cancerous and sell that at low prices,” said Ms. Afua Asomaning.

She said the government must sit up and help traders own the economy, saying “we are fed up and cannot continue with this, things are getting worse, our shops are rather empty while the foreigners are doing business”.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey                                        

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