The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) says it is increasing efforts to assist businesses set up and operate in the country under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GIPC, Yofi Grant, in a paper written by the GIPC titled “Why AfCFTA Matters to Businesses in Ghana” and sent to the Ghanaian Times has claimed that Ghana and AfCFTA offered several potential benefits to businesses that they must investigate and establish their presence in Ghana.
The GIPC CEO claimed that Ghana was the finest place to invest in Africa, due to its stability, democratic reputation, and the abundance of investment prospects in the sectors of mining, banking, insurance, oil and gas, agribusiness, and agriculture.
“Come to Ghana, and talk to us. We are the best place to invest in. Ghana is still the land of Opportunities, Openness, and Optimism,” Mr Grant said.
He claimed that the AfCFTA offered the removal of intra-regional trade barriers and was anticipated to gradually do away with other non-tariff restrictions on intra-African trade, making it simpler for Ghanaian companies to conduct business on the continent and take advantage of limitless opportunities.
Mr. Grant added that the AfCFTA made it possible for firms in Ghana to have better access to the enormous regional market, which has a population of over 1.3 billion.
“Considering that AfCFTA will remove barriers against Ghanaian products, investors can produce in the country and export uninhibitedly across Africa,” he said.
The GIPC CEO said with reduced tariffs and the provision of security for informal sector players, AfCFTA would make it more affordable for informal traders in the country to operate through formal channels, which provided greater security from harassment, robbery and confiscation of goods.
“It is also anticipated to provide simplified clearing procedure alongside reduced import duties for women traders,” Mr Grant said.
He said AfCFTA would provide access to cheaper raw materials and businesses in Ghana would have access to cheaper raw materials from across Africa, to supply their industries, as well as access to regional and continental value chains.
“Through AfCFTA, businesses in Ghana will be well-positioned to tap into other regional export destinations and can use regional markets as stepping stones to expand into overseas markets,” he said.
Mr Grant said “upon full implementation, AfCFTAwill boost the chances of Ghanaian enterprises in securing international investments, as local firms will have more negotiating power thanks to access to the sizable African market.”
Commenting on the potential benefits of AfCFTA to businesses, the Secretary-General, WamkeleMene, said “Ghana is the commercial and trade centre of Africa. The country is poised to remain at the pinnacle of the regional business climate, with the advent of the AfCFTA. Therefore, foreign investors seeking to explore the borderless opportunities, and reap the optimal benefits of the AfCFTA, should consider investing in Ghana.”
In July 2019, recognizing Ghana’s importance to trade in Africa, African regional leaders chose it above six other nations to house the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
With the ultimate goal of uniting African countries to create a single market, the AfCFTA is expected to abolish tariffs on 90% of the goods produced on the continent as well as other non-tariff restrictions. It will connect 1.3 billion people across the 55 African countries, creating the largest trade bloc in the world with a market size of $3 trillion.
The AfCFTA is expected to bring an estimated 30 million people out of extreme poverty while increasing intra-African commerce by 52%, increasing Africa’s exports by $560 billion.