The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry has ended its Annual General Meeting with a firm call to the business community to brace up for the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) which kick starts next year.
Trade minister, Alan Kyeremanteng warns of a compromise in Ghana’s trade benefit ii businesses fail to step up to the challenge.
Speaking at the event, Alan Kyeremanteng warned that failure to take advantage of the CFTA will spell doom for Ghana’s SMEs.
According to him, “Ghana will get back to square one” if the business community does not take advantage of the Continental Free Trade Agreement Area.
He argues, “Businesses can’t expect to make gains if they export sub-standard goods. We must be competitive,” he expressed.
President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Dr Nana Ampiagyei Dankawoso disclosed that there is going to be a crucial meeting among all business chambers in Africa to craft out modules through which they can facilitate effective trade coordination among member states.
He explained that “this crucial meeting is to be held by all business heads and officials from the Chambers of Commerce across Africa. This will be a game-changer and extraordinary meeting”.
The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017.
The Summit also endorsed the Action Plan on Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) which identifies seven clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, and productive capacity, trade-related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration.
The CFTA will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.
The AfCFTA is a culmination of a vision that was set forth nearly 40 years ago in the Lagos Plan of Action, adopted by Heads of State in 1980. That undertaking led directly to the Abuja Treaty, establishing the African Economic Community in 1991.