Mr Anthony Nyame-Baafi, Director of Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry has disclosed that government has developed a roadmap for implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to ease the cost of doing business.
Ghana became the 104th country to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in January, 2017.
Nyame-Baafi said the comprehensive document entails a strategic vision for the implementation of the trade facilitation reforms, which will cover a period of five years, ending in 2022.
It is expected that ‘’by 2022, through improved efficiency and risk management, the trade reforms that will be implemented will decrease the time for the clearance of imports, exports and transit goods to 48 hours,” he explained.
Announcing the details of the roadmap in Accra, August 14, at a business forum of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, Nyame-Baafi said cross border trade will be increased by 40 percent.
He said the country will also witness a 40 percent reduction in clearance cost for imports, exports and transit goods.
Nyame-Baafi, added, the number of documents required for imports and exports will also be reduced by 2022.
‘’As much as possible, only five or less documents will be needed to clear exports and five to clear imports and these will be paperless,’’ he said.
Ghana is expected to implement at least 60 percent of the trade facilitation measures for the period.
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in July this year, announced reforms to reduce the number of agencies undertaking joint inspections to three from a current 16.
Under the new reforms, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) were tasked to be the three main agencies to carry out joint inspections at the port.
Ghana, in the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking, dropped twelve points from the 108th position in 2016 to the 120th position in 2017.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) welcomed Ghana’s entry into the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and observed that the trade agreement could provide a boost to global trade flows of over US$1 trillion.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah