The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Nana Appeagyei Dankawaso I, has asked Ghanaians to inculcate the habit of patronising made-in-Ghana goods to ensure economic development.
“Ministry of Trades and Industry must as a matter of urgency embark on a campaign to encourage Ghanaians to patronise made-in-Ghana goods,” he advised.
Nana Dankawaso was speaking at the launch of the National Trade Facilitation Awards in Accra.
The awards was established by the Ministry of Trades and Industry (MoTI) in collaboration with the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) as part of measures to improve trade facilitation systems in Ghana and to encourage actors to render first class efficient and transparent services.
The award scheme will target 36 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) which issue licenses, permits and exemptions via the e-MDA portal as well as freight forwarding agencies in Ghana.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah said the scheme was one of government’s core policies to ensure speedy and efficient clearance of goods at the ports and borders.
He said to enhance trade facilitation, the ministry on behalf of the government signed an agreement in 2000, which was renewed in 2013, with GCNet to fully automate the customs clearance system and network other stakeholders involved in the import and export trade, to the Ghana Customs Management Systems.
The minister said the approval process of MDAs have been identified as one of the constraints to trade facilitation with its attendant repercussions on doing business, hence government’s desire to ensure speedy and efficient clearance to reduce the cost of doing business, while ensuring safety and security.
“The annual Trade Facilitation Awards Scheme will be a competitive barometer that would spur on the trade facilitation actors to achieve excellence in efficient service provision,” he said.
The minister expressed hope that instituting the awards, MDAs, freight forwarders and participants in the different sectors of the industry will be encouraged to improve upon their procedures and performance to meet standards of the international best practices.
Presenting the criteria of the awards Mr. Emmanuel Darko, Deputy General Manager of GCNet, said the awards would be based on actual performance and achievements in 2015 and would focus on criteria such as compliance to set rules, revenue generation, to completion of document processing and actual release of documents transactions volume.
He pledged the company’s continuous support in ensuring trade facilitation for both government and the business community.
There were some remarks from the Ghana Standards Board, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders.
The maiden event is expected to take place in June 2016 in Accra.
By Dennis Amegede