A new Trade Resource Centre has been opened in Accra to help advance Ghana’s chances under the American Government’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) initiative, and also boost the country’s export trade.
The establishment of the New AGOA Trade Resource Centre is a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its West African Trade Hub, and the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
Mr John Amanfu, the Regional Executive Secretary of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the launch on Thursday, said the Centre, the fifteenth in West Africa, is to help increase the value of exports from the region by providing guidance for businesses to access regional and global markets for agricultural and value-added trade.
This, he said, would in turn, spur greater competitiveness, lead to more jobs, and be a powerful foundation for broad-based economic growth.
Mr Amanfu, who would double as the Coordinator of the Centre, said it would provide targeted business advisory services and training to local businesses, help them to better understand the international demand for certain products and the technical requirements for market access, and facilitate Regional and export linkages.
The Centre, he said, would also serve as a one-stop-shop for local export-oriented companies to learn about regional and international trade opportunities, particularly those available under AGOA, which, was a tariff preference programme enacted by the United States Congress in 2000.
The AGOA, he said, was to increase export trade from eligible sub-Saharan African countries and called on the public to patronize the services of the facility which, was being hosted by the GCCI within the World Trade Centre building in Accra.
Mr Anthony Chan, the Director of the USAID Africa Bureau Office of Sustainable Development, said the collaborative effort was geared towards laying a foundation for Ghanaian exporters to successfully meet the demands of the global marketplace for quantity, quality and timeliness.
Mr Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry said the Ministry identifies the facility as a strategic vehicle which would assist in providing services in trade intelligence, export development, business promotion and trade facilitation, and access to funds for businesses.
He said the Ministry supports the initiative and would build the necessary framework to promote the centre for the improvement and growth of trade-related services, he said.
He said government was also determined to promote and sustain the consumption of made-in-Ghana goods and services and urged the GCCI to take advantage of the opportunity to build their capacity on that score.