Ghana’s private sector capacity to be enhanced

The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has been asked to address issues of unauthorized fees that are imposed on traders engaged in cross-border trading to foster the growth of intra-ECOWAS trade.

The relevant Bilateral Commissions should also be strengthened to among others further the attainment of the ECOWAS regional integration process.

These were contained in a resolution adopted by the Sekondi-Takoradi and Cape Coast Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry (TRCCI) and (CCRCCI) at the end of a two-day workshop at Elmina over the weekend.

It was held under the theme “Enhancing the capacity of Ghana’s Private Sector, particularly the members of the GNCCI to increase their trade with its neighbouring countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo) as well as the European Union”.

The workshop, which was attended by 25 participants drawn from the Central and Western Regions, touched on issues such as ECOWAS trade-related protocols, diagnostic study of the GNCCI, study on the use of the Ghana’s Ports as transshipment center for trade between Ghana Burkina Faso, as well as the study on the use of ICT to promote trade between Ghana and its neighbouring countries.

They also called on the Government to mainstream the Ghanaian legal system into that of ECOWAS to harmonize the rules and promote the expansion of Ghana’s trade and business with neighbouring countries.

The group resolved to create within the Takoradi and Cape Coast Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a Trade Group under the name “ECOWAS Business Forum” to focus on the promotion of cross-border trade and business between Ghana and its neighbouring countries.

It also resolved to undertake measures to facilitate the promotion of trade along the Takoradi-Cape Coast-Kumasi-Paga trade route through advocating for the reduction of police and other road blocks that constitute obstacles to the flow of both domestic trade in Ghana and intra-ECOWAS trade.

It urged the GNCCI to undertake comprehensive studies into the structure of the fees paid for the issuance of certificates of origin, bearing in mind the destination of the export as well as the volume or cost of the exports and in consultation with all stakeholders in the export/import business.

It called on the GNCCI to develop new revenue streams such as the establishment of companies that will diversify the income-base of the Chamber and to build the capacity of Ghanaian transit trade operators to improve their efficiency and methods of operation.

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Customs Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) should also simplify the clearing procedures at the ports while the GPHA intensify its cooperation with all stakeholders including the GNCCI to facilitate transit trade.

All concerned agencies should implement the International and ECOWAS conventions on Inter-state transit of goods, particularly to avoid the payment of discriminatory fees and other levies such as VAT.

It also advocated for the study of the French language to be taken seriously at the basic school level.

Source: GNA

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