Ghana remains the best option for investors looking to explore opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which took off on January 1, this year, a Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr Anthony Nyame-Baafi, has said.
He explained that foreign investors needed to take advantage of Ghana’s stable socioeconomic and competitive environment by partnering with their Ghanaian counterparts to establish multinational companies that can profit Africa’s over 1.2 billion consumers.
Speaking at a day’s Intra-African Trade Conference, 2021 organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Delegation of German Industries and Commerce in Ghana, in Accra, Mr Nyame-Baafi, said the government has so far, laid the necessary foundation to enable the country realise increased investment, both local and foreign.
On the theme: ‘AfCFTA – opportunities for investment and job creation in Ghana,’ the event provided an opportunity for potential investors to acquire knowledge on how best they can take advantage of the AfCFTA market by setting up in the country.
“Ghana has put in place enough trade and transformation plans as well as investment promotion measures and is ready for both local and foreign investments under AfCFTA.
“We have developed a national action plan to complement the ongoing industrialisation agenda. This includes the setting up of institutional mechanisms and structures such as the Inter-Inter-Ministerial Facilitation Committee, National Steering Committee and National AfCFTA Coordinating Office,” he said.
He stated that technical working groups covering areas such as trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity/industrialisation, development finance, factor market integration and trade-related infrastructure – transport and communication, have all been set up to make it easy for investors to establish in the country.
He said the country could boast of a good enabling infrastructure such as energy, roads, sea ports, airports and telecoms, educated and skilled manpower and access to commercial justice among others, which make it a top preferred destination for investment within the AfCFTA market area.
“AfCFTA is a major milestone towards regional integration and remains a viable vehicle for industrialisation and economic transformation of African countries.
The initiative will boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation, foster structural transformation, improve food security, enhance economic growth and export diversification and above all, provide the fresh impetus and dynamism to economic integration in Africa,” he added.
Support for SMEs
For his part, Vice President in charge of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) of AGI, Mr Humphrey Dake, said more needs to be done to enable local businesses, particularly SMEs, to participate actively in the free market area.
According to him, SMEs needed to reposition themselves to benefit from the AfCFTA.
He said they should ensure consistency in their businesses to sustain their client base and create niches for themselves as well as obey the trade rules in order not to miss the opportunities that the continental trade would bring.
He added that the agreement did not only present an opportunity for Ghanaian companies to export to other countries, but also for companies in other African countries to also export here as well, and it was, therefore, critical for the government to support the country’s SMEs to make the most out of the agreement.