Samson A. Asaki, Executive Director of Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, says the successful implementation of any trade policy must involve the country’s private sector.
Speaking at a forum jointly organised by the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) and the International Chamber of Commerce Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry Tuesday in Accra, he stressed the need for government to pay attention to concerns raised by trade unions.
“They do not engage us when they are formulating policy, they would rather engage us when the policy is about to be implemented and when we raise the issues, they would say it is law.”
He, therefore, called on the Parliamentary Select Committees on Trade and Finance to adequately involve stakeholders when fixing fees.
The forum on the theme, ‘The Role of Ghana’s Private Sector in the Implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement,’ sought to broaden discussions on the agreement.
In a speech read on his behalf, Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, said government was working to practically remove bottlenecks along the entire domestic and global value chain.
Such measures, he mentioned, involved addressing port access and capacity issues, transport links, finance, trade facilitation and market access issues.
According to him, over a decade now, Ghana has been undertaking a number of reforms aimed at facilitating trade to improve its import, export and transit trade regime.
These, he added, had helped to reduce the numerous processes and use of information and communications technology at the ports, as well as unifying and reforming the tax administration function of Customs.
The minister said the private sector’s collaboration in such a move was very paramount.
Helge Sander, Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany, said partnership towards the implementation of such an agreement helped to build mutual trust, making implementation less difficult.
Mr Sanders said the Federal Republic of Germany had established the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation jointly with other donors, namely Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States to support trade facilitation efforts worldwide.
Franklyn Cudjoe, President of IMANI Ghana, said even though government claimed it had removed some bottlenecks at the ports, the country had declined continuously in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.
Source: Daily Guide