ACFTA: Harnessing financial resources and technology key in competitive trade

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The successful operationalization and participation in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement would require Ghana and other member countries to harness the financial resources and technology, to enable them remain competitive, Principal Commercial Officer of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Stephen Mickson Opoku has said.
He recommends that deliberate policy actions are designed and implement to support local businesses, to enable them participate fully in the program.

Mr Mickson Opoku clarified that about seven unique clusters exist within the ACFTA, where private participation could be enhance through the development of a structured national institutional framework.

“So long as we have ratified we must begin to look critically at these clusters and begin to take them one after the other through a structured national institutional framework to bring the private sector for them to interact with government. So that government would be able to implement policies that carries and solves the issues of the private sector” he proferred.

He scored that some actions have been taken in responding to the opportunities that ACFTA presents yet “a lot needs to be done”

“If you look at Ghana, as soon as we ratified the President had already commissioned an institutional body to ensure that we put things in order. These institutions exist but this one [ACFTA] makes it mandatory to have an national structure that will bring all the relevant stakeholders on board, and then we begin to look at what we doing now and how we can improve upon it” he added.

He made these remarks at a public lecture organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana in Takoradi, on the theme “African Continental Free Trade Agreement: A choice for Africa?”

A member of the council, Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana, Mr. Kwabena Hemang-Ntiamoah noted that the institute needs to critically examine opportunities that comes with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to ensure an inclusive satisfaction of members and partners at large.

“We need to sensitise the people [businessmen], so that those who are going to produce…will need accounting services, they need financing. W need to advise them, we need to help them prepare business plans. We need to help them acquire loans” he explained.

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