Business News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Ghana has set itself a target to achieve below the 46th position on the World Bank doing business index within the next one year or two.
Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, who announced this, said the various reforms the Government was embarking on to improve and establish a conducive and business friendly environment would make the attainment of the goal possible.
He urged all stakeholders to embrace the initiatives, aimed to ease the way of doing business to help the country to achieve its objective under the ‘Better 46 Programme.’
In the Doing Business 2017 report, Ghana placed 108 out of the 190 countries surveyed in the overall Ranking of ‘Ease of Doing Business.’
“We have made a promise to ourselves that if this would be possible, it depends a lot on the players in the industry to ensure that anything that is needed to be done to reach the goal is done,” he said, at the closing session of the sixth International Single Window Conference and Exhibition in Accra.
The three-day conference was organised by the African Alliance for Electronic Commerce (AACE) in partnership with the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The Conference, held on the theme: “Trade Facilitation Agreement and e-Commerce Development: The Role of Single Window as a Catalyst”, attracted more than 500 participants, including nearly 200 delegates from several countries in Africa, Europe, America, Asia and Middle East.
Among the key objectives of the conference were raising awareness on the implementation of the single window concept at the global level, its contribution to improvement in companies’ competitiveness and the business climate.
Mr Ahenkorah lauded the AACE for the conference and initiative to learn from each other to move the process of single–window forward, saying that there was the need for the continent to catch up with the rest of the world in the area of automation.
He said Ghana was working on full automation of the processes to enhance trade facilitation and not half-baked automation, where some processes would still have to done manually via paper.
“Ghana will not go back on its quest to achieve automation in all its business processes and in as far as making our system work is concerned,” Mr Ahenkorah said.
He urged the countries to work together to be able to reap the benefits of the 1.6 billion strong market when the Africa continental free-trade area became operational.
Mr Emmanuel Darko, Deputy General Manager GCNet, thanked the participants for the fruitful three-day deliberations and expressed the hope that lessons learnt from the conference would go a long way to impact on operations.
In their recommendations, the participants called on African Governments to develop a legal framework to mandate countries in the Region to adopt a Single Window clearing system to facilitate and boost trade in Africa; as well as to increase the Region’s share of world trade.
The participants also called on African Governments to build a strong and efficient infrastructure to promote electronic commerce, adding that, an integrated platform among the countries would ensure security and enhance revenue mobilisation.
The participants recommended leveraging on Technology to deploy a Single Window and Paperless System to reduce the time and cost of clearing goods in the Region.
There was also need for African countries to iron out the duplication of functions and confusion among the players in the port clearing system, they stated.
They called for the establishment of Trade Information Centres to promote information flow among the players in the port industry as well as increased education of the public.