Compliance To Trade Rules Solution To Rope In More Investment For Ghana4 min read
Participants attending a trade facilitation training on the implementation of the Ghana-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) have agreed that compliance to trade rules was the solution to roping more investment for Ghana.
They emphasised that complying with the trade rules would drive an increase in exports and sustain Ghanaian businesses. The participants made the conclusions during the final day of the training on the export requirement under the Ghana-EU EPA.
The participants drawn from thirteen public institutions consisting of regulators and policymakers were trained on varied topics relating to customs procedures and trade facilitation under the Ghana-EU EPA. They were also introduced to concepts of trade facilitation as well as the review of a number of trade agreements. The training organised by Compete Ghana was funded by the EU under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Team Leader of Compete Ghana, Nichols Gebara said the 2-day training was organized to help trade institutions and facilitators get a better coordination of their work. He said the workshop was mainly for the institutions to network, for the existence of cooperation and coordination as far as the Ghana-EU EPA was concerned.
The team leader indicated that the role of the institutions or trade facilitators was to provide assistance to exporters for businesses to thrive. He stated that the key goal of trade facilitation is to promote an open intervention between institutions involved in trade. “This is not about trade institutions, this is about networking among these institutions”, Mr. Gebara stated.
He urged participants to help advocate the needs of trade facilitation to ensure access of clear and transparent information amongst exporters and importers. Mr. Gebara further encouraged the media to promote the role of facilitation and trade institutions when the need arises.
Mr Dode Seidu, a Trade Facilitation expert and trainer, said Ghana utilizing and implementing trade facilitation broadly could enhance her competitiveness as compared to her neighbouring countries. He said this was because there was competition for investment in all countries, but within West Africa, political stability was an advantage to attract and maintain investments in the country.
He added that to better achieve trade facilitation, there was the need for more and continuous cooperation, harmonising their activities and simplifying their activities.
“If actors in trade are not compliant, they should not expect that the institutions involved in trade will accord them the benefits,” he added. Mr Seidu said the participants after the training were ready to in their own way make some changes or improve trade facilitation in Ghana.
“We discussed extensively and realised that trade facilitation is not a destination but a process, it is a process of continuous improvement for the private sector, so once they can go back and improve their processes, it will be better,” he stressed.
Mrs Diana Amponsah, Head of Product Inspection Department, Ghana Standard Authority, who was a participant said transparency was vital as far as trade facilitation was concerned. She added that simplification of trade facilitation processes was also important because it makes Ghana more competitive.
“So, if we can work in such a way that it will be risk-based, it will help simplify the processes and save time so that exporters will be in business and at the end of the day benefit Ghana and make her more competitive,” she stressed.
Another Participant, Darko Osei from the Ghana Export Promotion Center said the training has been enlightening for him. He said ‘’ it has been very helpful and would help me direct our clients on the right procedures to ensure that they benefit fully in the Ghana EU EPA’s. He said the training has had an impact and helped him to form new networks. The Complete Ghana /EU-funded training modules will continue in the coming weeks.
Participants were awarded certificates of participation.