The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant has assured the local business community that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) in Ghana will not threaten their business but rather create significant opportunities and make them more competitive and well positioned for the global market.
According to him, the opening up of the Ghanaian market for the trading of goods and services with other African countries under the AfCTA will ensure quality in production and services such that the Ghanaian trader will have the upper hand in the market.
Mr Grant made this known during a seven-member panel discussion on operationalizing the AfCTA in Ghana held on the sidelines of the just ended three-day National Conference on the implementation of the AfCTA Agreement in Ghana.
The session was intended to address the critical institutional structures needed to support the implementation of the AfCTA in Ghana and also look into the roles and responsibilities of various institutions in ensuring the smooth implementation and operationalization of the Agreement.
Members of the panel included Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority; Ms Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA); Connell Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Frank Agyekum, Executive Secretary of the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC); Mrs Mimi Darko, CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA); and Mr Micheal Okyere Baafi, CEO of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA).
Mr Grant said the AfCTA puts the GIPC in an interesting position to harness and bring in significant investments as the country hosts the Secretariat of the AfCTA adding, “the fact that we are ruling Africa’s trade regime means that we can actually reposition ourselves to be the place where almost all regional headquarters should be and can you imagine what that means”.
Additionally, he said, as an investment promotion agency, the Centre was looking at reforming its laws to make Ghana comparatively competitive without compromising either the political economy or our own productive base.
“We are looking at the review of our laws to have harmony between all the multilateral and bilateral laws in Ghana such that there is no conflict and it is easier for business to freely invest in Ghana”, he said.
In taking advantage of the AfCTA, Mr Grant said there was the urgent need to improve infrastructure so as to attract more international companies.