Ghana slips three spots to place 99th on WEF’s Enabling Trade Index 2012

Ghana slipped three places and was ranked 99th out of 132 countries on the 2012 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Enabling Trade Index published May 23, 2012 as part of the latest Global Enabling Trade Report.

Out of a score of seven, Ghana recorded a 3.6 score, the same it had when it was ranked 96th in the 2010 edition of the Index.

The Enabling Trade Index (ETI) measures institutions, policies and services facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to destinations. It breaks the enablers into four issue areas: market access, border administration, transport and communications infrastructure, and business environment. The Index uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the WEF with its network of partners.

The WEF biennial report highlighted some key problems facing Ghana when trading on the world market. The Forum listed the problems as access to trade finance; burdensome procedures and corruption at foreign borders; identifying potential markets and buyers; access to imported inputs at competitive prices and high cost or delays caused by international transportation.

The rest were inappropriate production technology and skills; technical requirements and standards abroad; difficulties in meeting quality/quantity requirements of buyers and rules of origin requirements abroad.

All the four major sub-indexes of the report saw Ghana scoring below five points out of seven. The four are Market access (ranked 112 with 3.5 score), Border administration (ranked 86th with 3.5 score), Transport & communications infrastructure (ranked 106th with 3.0 score) and Business environment (ranked 64th with 4.3 score).

East Asian economies, according to the report recorded marked improvements in their ability to enable trade as traditional frontrunners Singapore and Hong Kong retained a clear lead at the top of the global rankings.

It also confirmed strong showings for Europe’s major economies, with Finland and the United Kingdom both advancing six places to 6th and 11th, respectively, and Germany and France remaining stable at 13th and 20.

The report found out that traditional notions of trade are increasingly outdated as global value chains require new measurements, policies and cooperation.

The report also observed that that security, quality and trade can be mutually reinforcing through supply chain integrity efforts, but a knowledge gap in identifying buyers remains an important barrier.

By Ekow Quandzie

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