GIPC intensifies effort to assist businesses to operate under AfCFTA

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) says it is intensifying efforts to assist businesses to set up and operate in the country under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GIPC, Yofi Grant,  in a paper developed by the GIPC and copied to the Ghanaian Times titled  “Why AfCFTA Matters to Businesses in  Ghana,” Ghana and AfCFTA offered several potential benefits to businesses which they must explore and establish their presence in Ghana.

The GIPC CEO said Ghana was the best place to invest in Africa in view of its stability and democratic credentials and the numerous investment opportunities in the areas of mining, banking and insurance, oil and gas and agribusiness and agriculture.

 “Come to Ghana, and talk to us. We are the best place to invest in. Ghana is still the land of Opportunities, Openness, and Optimism,” Mr Grant said.

He said AfCFTA offered elimination of intra-regional trade barriers and was expected to progressively eliminate tariffs, as well as other non-tariff constraints on intra-African trade, making it easier for businesses in Ghana to trade within the continent, and explore endless opportunities.

Mr Grant further said AfCFTA created room for easier access to vast regional market and as a result businesses in Ghana would get easier access to the vast continental market with over 1.3 billion people.

“Considering that AfCFTA will remove barriers against Ghanaian products, investors can produce in the country and export uninhibitedly across Africa,” he said.

The GIPC CEO said providing security for informal sector players and with reduced tariffs, AfCFTA would make it more affordable for informal traders in the country to operate through formal channels, which offered greater security from harassment, robbery and confiscation of goods.

“It is also anticipated to provide simplified clearing procedure alongside reduced import duties for women traders,” Mr Grant said.

He said AfCFTA would provide access to cheaper raw materials and businesses in Ghana would have access to cheaper raw materials from across Africa, to feed their factories, as well as access to regional and continental value chains.

“Through AfCFTA, businesses in Ghana will be well-positioned to tap into other regional export destinations and can use regional markets as stepping stones to expand into overseas markets,” he said.

Mr Grantsaid “upon full implementation, AfCFTAwill boost the chances of Ghanaian enterprises in securing international investments, as local firms will have more negotiating power thanks to access to the sizable African market.”

Commenting on the potential benefits of AfCFTA to businesses, the Secretary-General, WamkeleMene, said “Ghana is the commercial and trade centre of Africa.   The country is poised to remain at the pinnacle of the regional business climate, with the advent of the AfCFTA. Therefore, foreign investors seeking to explore the borderless opportunities, and reap the optimal benefits of the AfCFTA, should consider investing in Ghana.”

In July 2019, African Regional Leaders selected Ghana ahead of six other countries, to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), considering Ghana’s significance to commerce in Africa.

The AfCFTA is projected to eliminate tariffs on 90 per cent of goods produced on the continent, as well as other non-tariff constraints, with the ultimate aim of aggregating African countries, to create a single market and will connect 1.3 billion people across the 55 African countries with a market size of $3 trillion, to create the largest trade bloc in the world.

The AfCFTA is projected to increase intra-Africa trade by 52 per cent, boost Africa’s exports by $560 billion, and lift an estimated 30 million people out of extreme poverty.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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