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We need to identify products qualified under Continental Free Trade Agreement - PEF

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Local Manufacturers in Ghana

The Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) has asked the government, and other stakeholders to speed up discussions to identify which products would be allowed into Ghana from other African countries when the Continental Free Trade Agreement is fully implemented.

Speaking to Citi FM ahead of the implementation of the agreement, President of the PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu said the discussions must be fast-tracked.

“It borders on government revenue, the elimination of tariffs is going to affect government revenue. And if the revenue is not there, the government is going to look at the domestic private sector. We need to identify the items with a 90 percent liberalization with a low impact on government’s revenue. This will reduce the burden of increasing taxes,” Nana Osei Bonsu said.

Continental Free Trade Agreement will negatively affect other sectors of the economy

The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) this year (2019) is likely to negatively affect other sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

The Continental Free Trade Agreement after its implementation 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.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Ghana could face revenue shortfalls if the country starts the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The IMF maintains that although the agreement will boost trade on the continent, it will affect earnings and employment opportunities in some sectors of the economy.

“Our policy message is to try to put the necessary of infrastructure or policies to shelter part of the population that will be affected”, Albert Touna Mama, Country Representative for the IMF noted.

What the implementation of Continental Free Trade Agreement means for local manufacturers

Local manufacturers in Ghana will soon be faced with stiff competition if the Continental Free Trade Agreement is implemented.

Local manufacturers will be expected to meet continental demands and their inability to do that means other manufacturers from other countries on the continent will beat them to the competition.

The Deputy Trade Minister, Carlos Ahenkora cautioned the local manufacturers to position themselves very well to take advantage of the agreement.

According to him, the manufacturers have from now till the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement to take the needed steps in playing well in the upcoming competition.

“Which we expect to come onstream this year……this corporation is also going to better as far as African countries are concerned, here I will like to sound a word of caution especially to our manufacturers in Ghana to be wary of this particular protocol we have signed and ratified

“Because when that happens people in Morocco, Tunisia will have access to send their goods to Ghana quota-free, duty free and we must be ready to reciprocate anything that goes with being able to export your goods outside Ghana must be considered now we are very hopeful that before the end of 2019 the CFT will come onstream,” he added.

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