Participants attending a trade facilitation training on the implementation of the Ghana-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) have singled out compliance with trade rules was the solution to rope in more investment for Ghana.
According to the participants, complying with the trade rules would drive an increase in exports and sustain the economy. The participants made the conclusions during the final day of training on the export’s requirement under the Ghana-EU EPA in Accra.
The training was organised by Compete Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry with funding from the EU Ghana. The participants were drawn from the thirteen public institutions consisting of regulators and policy makers. They were trained on varied topics relating to the Customs procedures and trade facilitation under the Ghana-EU EPA. They were also introduced to trade facilitation and the review of several trade agreements.
Mr Dode Seidu, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Trade Academy noted that Ghana utilising and implementing trade facilitation broadly could enhance her competitiveness as compared to her neighbouring countries.
Competition For Investment In All Countries
The Chief Executive Officer explained that this is because there is competition for investment in all countries, but within West Africa, political stability is an advantage to attract and maintain investments.
Mr Seidu, who also served as facilitator said over emphasis on the institutions involved in supporting and facilitating trade, their mandate, the level of cooperation and coordination is one of the frequent challenges observed in the trading landscape. “To better achieve trade facilitation, there is the need for more and continuous cooperation, harmonised and simplified activities,” he added.
Mr Seidu noted that trade facilitation focused on compliance, and it is for compliant traders and actors in the sector. “If actors in trade are not compliant, they should not expect that the institutions involved in trade will accord them the benefits,” he said.
The facilitator encouraged the private sector to make sure that they understand the rules of trade, the regulations and follow them before they can demand from the institutions to be accorded trade facilitation rights.
Mr Seidu averred that the participants after the training would be ready in their own way to make some changes or improve trade facilitation in Ghana. “We discussed extensively and realised that trade facilitation is not a destination but a process, it is a process of continuous improvement for the private sector and once they can go back and improve their processes, it will be better,” he stressed.
Mrs Diana Amponsah, Head of Product Inspection Department, Ghana Standard Authority, said transparency was vital as far as trade facilitation was concerned. “Simplification of trade facilitation processes is also important because it makes Ghana more competitive,” she added.
Mr Nicholas Gebara, Team Leader of Compete Ghana, noted the importance of the training and encourage the participants to take advantage of it to increase exports, sustain Ghanaian businesses and rope more investment for Ghana.
Mr Nicholas Gebara indicated that the workshop is mainly for the institutions to network for the existence of cooperation and coordination as far as the Ghana-EU EPA was concerned.
Meanwhile, according to 2021 data, the top exports of Ghana are Gold ($5.29B), Crude Petroleum ($3.57B), Cocoa Beans ($1.51B), Cocoa Paste ($477M), and Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews ($477M), exporting mostly to Switzerland ($2.44B), United Arab Emirates ($1.73B), United States ($1.56B), India ($1.53B), and China ($1.27B).
Therefore, deeper knowledge about trade and compliance with trade rules will help boost the countries revenues from trade.