Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen is optimistic that the yet to be rolled out Continental Free Trade Area by the African Union (AU), will provide the biggest opportunity to expand the exports of Ghanaian products.
Negotiations for the agreement began in 2015 to integrate 54 countries into a single market and improve trade among African countries.
Some 44 heads of state signed the agreement early this year for implementation which will allow investors to produce and export their products to other African countries quota and duty free.
But even before that takes effect, Trade Minister Alan Kyeremanten says the move is the single most important initiative that will boost Ghana’s exports.
“Through the integration of our market we can identify productive capacities in Ghana that will link up and integrate with other productive opportunities to enhance the volumes of products so that we can export and take advantage the US market. For us in Ghana it is an opportunity that is being provided for us to expand exports of Ghanaian products,” he told Goldstreet Business in Accra.
According to Reuters, trade between African countries constitutes only 10 percent of all commerce on the continent.
The CFTA, when rolled out, will remove barriers to trade, tariffs and import quotas, to allow the free flow of goods and services between its members.
Africa’s largest markets, Nigeria and South Africa pulled out of the agreement after some stakeholders complained that they had not been consulted.
However, the African Union is hopeful the two countries would soon sign the agreement.
By Nana Oye Ankrah