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Continental Free Trade Agreement : Benefits Ghana will derive from hosting secretariat

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Local manufacturers in Ghana
Local manufacturers in Ghana

Ghana is among African countries like Senegal, Egypt, Madagascar and Ethiopia who have submitted bids to host the secretariat for the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Twenty-four out of the fifty-four African countries have signed and ratified the agreement which came into force last month.

The agreement will allow for a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of businesses and investments and also pave way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Union and the African Customs Union.

Speaking to Joy FM on the sidelines of African Development Bank annual meeting in Equatorial Guinea, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta said the Continental Free Trade Agreement will create opportunities for Ghana to increase its manufacturing and production capacity.

"With all of these trade treaties there is always a sense that you might lose at the beginning or some country will be hard hit but in the end the totality of it creates new opportunities, my expectation is that with the clarion call for Ghana Beyond Aid and what we are doing in agriculture, industrialisation and 1D1F, we are priming ourselves to be able to take advantage of that and I also feel quite strongly that with our political stability, centring the headquarters in Ghana will just lead to a recognition that Ghana is the place to be and therefore the ancillary benefit of other multinational headquarters in Ghana is going to be real."

Explaining further the benefits Ghana will derive from hosting of the Secretariat, the Minister said the secretariat will allow for Ghana to be the centre of most economic activities on the continent.

"I think part of the Ghana Beyond Aid concept is also making Ghana a regional hub so when you are the headquarters of the CFTA it will enhance that and the regional hub means that we are going to create logistic centre, aviation centre that serves the region, the petroleum hub that we are talking about, the financial service we are already looking at and how that can also be regionalised, and you know we are also in contention for the millennium challenge and corporations new regional compact."

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