As part of efforts to accelerate economic growth and drive foreign exchange earnings, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has held an Exporters Forum to apprise importers and exporters of some of the country’s trade agreements, and how they can position themselves to take advantage of it.
The Forum which was under the theme; ‘Facilitating Shipment under Ghana’s Preferential Trade Agreements’ was held on Thursday, 29th June 2023 and was patronized by importers and exporters from different sectors of the economy.
Trade data from the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) had revealed that since the coming into force of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in 2021, imports through that avenue have exceeded exports. The Forum was therefore a timely awakening for the exporting public.
Trade facilitation agencies were advised to create avenues and also formulate policies that would drive an increase in exports under the Agreement, since, exports remain key to foreign exchange earnings for the country, and are thus, a pertinent driver of economic growth.
Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers Authority Fred Asiedu Dartey addressing the forum
During a media interaction, the Head of Freight and Logistics at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Mr. Fred Asiedu Dartey said; “from the interactions we have had, we do believe that some impact has been made and it’s something we hope to follow up on to ensure that, we don’t only disseminate the information, but they are able to integrate the information into their business processes so that they can derive the necessary benefits.”
An Officer with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr. Stephen Opoku advised that, compliance is the best way to sustain a business. He entreated the participants to ensure that they are compliant with every requirement spelt out by the Agreement; and should seek clarification from relevant State agencies when they are unsure or encounter difficulty.
“If you comply you can export your goods and save the duties or the taxes that will be levied on you, but if you don’t it would be double the cost for you. Your goods will be rejected, and you have already put in so much and everything will come to zero,” he said during his presentation on Ghana’s Preferential Trade Agreement.
Some exporters at the Forum
An Officer with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs), Abdul Aziz Saake educated the shippers on the effective use of digital platforms in trade facilitation and the avenues to lodge complaints and to receive real-time feedback.
Questions asked by some of the participants were duly answered by the Resource persons.