Ghana to set up International Trade Commission to promote private sector

A Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) is to be established in 2013 to further champion the interest and development of the private sector in the country.

The GITC, when established would function as an autonomous body.

Mr Appiah Donyina, Acting Secretary of the Tariff Advisory Board (TAB), which is under the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MOTI), announced this at a day’s training workshop organized for the private sector in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis on Tuesday.

Mr Donyina, also the Director in charge of Imports/Exports at MOTI, said in the interim, TAB had been put in place to take up that responsibility until such a time that the GITC takes office.

TAB responsibilities include analyzing and advising the Ministry on tariff related issues and overseeing the implementation of capacity development in the public and private sector in the trade contingency measures.

The Acting TAB Secretary said it would also investigate and adjudicate complaints by domestic procedures relating to dumping, subsidization and sharp import surges and the resultant materials injury as well as investigate petitions and make appropriate recommendations to government.

In order to present a clear case of their operations, Mr Donyina underscored the need for private entrepreneurs to keep proper data as evidence.

He said TAB’s findings indicated that most operators of the private sector were not keeping records of their operations and this made it very difficult to prove their cases reported.

Mr Donyina referred to a case in 2004 when government imposed levy on imported poultry and rice following complaints by the private sector and this was challenged by the foreign countries.

He said regrettably the private sector could not show any data to prove their case.

Government, Mr Donyina said, was not against the importation of goods since it is a signatory to the ECOWAS trade but it must be done fairly so that inferior goods were not dumped into the country to put the local industries out of business.

In an address read for him, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister reminded the public of the ban on the importation of used mattresses therefore must refrain from buying them.

He said used-mattresses have the potential to serve as habitat to dangerous viruses, therefore in accordance with the legislative instrument 1586 all imported used mattresses must be seized and destroyed.

Mr Aidoo warned that soon pirated Ghanaian textiles would also be seized and burnt in Accra in line with Ghana’s obligation under the World Trade Organization Agreement.

Dr Dominic Ayine, member of the TAB took the participants the overview of trade contingency measures.

Source: GNA

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