Business News of Wednesday, 1 March 2017
An international Trade Consultant Mr. Frederick Alipui, has praised Ghana for signing up to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
According to Mr. Alipui, Ghana stands to be the greater beneficiary with coming into force of the landmark global trade agreement which could provide a boost to global trade flows of over US$1trillion.
“The trade Facilitation Agreement is important to Ghana, because it will reduce the cost of doing business. If you were to look at the World bank report which accesses the cost of doing business, Ghana has not been performing well on the various indices.
Now with the coming into force of the TFA, it will give Ghana a boost in terms of capacity building and the facilities that would be made available to Ghana will be enormous, all for the benefit of the Ghanaian importers and exporters.”
“It’s estimated that the TFA could increase SME exports by 80% in some economies. This means more jobs, more consumer choice and ultimately more inclusive development,” he added.
The World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force on February 22, 2017 after two-thirds of WTO member states ratified the TFA.
This was as result of Rwanda, Chad, Oman, and Jordan submitted their instruments becoming the latest of 110 countries to ratify the agreement.
Reaching this threshold means the TFA now becomes an official part of the multilateral trading system which covers more than 96% of global GDP.
The TFA—the first multilateral trade agreement to enter into force in over two decades—aims to make trade easier and simpler by cutting red-tape at borders.
International Chamber Commerce (ICC) Ghana Secretary-General, Emmanuel Doni-Kwame said ICC Ghana with the support of AGI, World Trade Centre Accra, GUTA, Ship-owners Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, FAGE, Ghana Employers Association, Ghana Journalist Association, West Blue Consulting, Ghana Shippers Authority and the BUSAC Fund encouraged the Ministry of Trade and the Parliament of Ghana to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
This goal was achieved in January when Ghana became the 104th member country to ratify the TFA.
Valentina Mintah CEO of West Blue Consulting and a member of ICC Ghana, said the Ghana National Single Window, a Trade Facilitation programme, plays a key role in the execution of the Trade Faciliation Agreement, with up to 15 Sub Articles covered by the programme.
With the entry into force of the TFA, we are confident of achieving a further reduction in time and cost of doing business in Ghana, whilst providing a level playing field for all trade participants.
ICC is actively supporting the implementation of the TFA through the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation—a major public-private partnership supported by a number of donor governments and international businesses.
The Alliance is currently rolling out trade facilitation projects in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya and Viet Nam based on TFA standards.