Committee to reduce trade barriers formed

A Thirteen-member committee has been inaugurated to help reduce trade barriers in the country’s borders.

The committee, headed by the Managing Director of DAMCO Logistics, Mr Frank Eshun, also  comprises members from the shiping and logistics business, civil society organisations, donor and development partners and government institutions, among others.

It is to operate as the National Executive Committee of Borderless Alliance (BA), a private-public partnership that aims at facilitating and promoting intra-regional trade.

Its inauguration in Accra thus marked the official opening of BA’s Ghana Chapter and is expected to help reduce transport costs attributable to delays of goods entering or leaving the country at the borders.

It has members from the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Ghana Association of Industries (AGI), Nestle Central and West Africa, DAMCO Logistics Ghana Limited, USAID, among others.

The committee is expected to meet occassionally to discuss the challenges associated with trade into and out of the country and help find solutions to them.

The President of BA, Mr Ziad Hamoui, bemoaned the implications of barries in the continent on trade, saying that economic growth could have been better if such barriers were removed.

He said companies had to pay a lot of money at transport checkpoints at borders which could have otherwise been reinvested to create more jobs.

Citing an example, Mr  Hamoui said Nestle, for instance, could save about 20 per cent off its US$35 million annual transport cost if checkpoints were eliminated. 

He thus tasked the committee to work closely with the relevant government institutions in the sub-region to help reduce or at best eliminate such barriers for the betterment of the business community and the states as a whole.

While admitting the daunting nature of the task at hand, the President of the committee, Mr Eshun, pledged the commitment of his outfit to help address the various trade related difficulties arising from barriers.

The BA, though an international body, has six national offices in the subregion, the Ghana office being the latest.

  Story: Maxwell Adombila Akalaare & Salomey Appiah

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