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700 products receive Rules of Origin Certification to trade under AfCFTA

Source The Ghana Report

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, has revealed a significant increase in the number of products – totaling 700 – that have received Rules of Origin Certification to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) rules.

The minister described this development as a testament of the government’s commitment to supporting local businesses and artisans. He said this at the ‘3rd Made-In-Ghana Bazaar’ organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra.

“In a determined effort to take advantage of the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative, the government facilitated exploratory market expedition missions to Kenya and Tanzania, involving 63 and 52 companies respectively,” Mr. Hammond said.

He said since 2017 government has been working closely with the private sector to boost production in the industrial sector and expand market access, particularly in sectors linked to processing local raw materials.

This strategy, he explained, is part of a comprehensive industrial transformation agenda that prioritises import substitution and export diversification.

Also, he said the value addition agenda has yielded impressive results. According to the 2023 Annual Statistics Report on Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) published by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), manufactured and semi-processed products contributed 85.01 percent of NTEs portfolio in 2023 – while the agricultural and industrial art and craft (handicrafts) sub-sectors contributed 12.57 percent and 2.43 percent.

The minister noted that a key initiative in this transformation is the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative – adding that currently there are 321 1D1F projects at various stages of implementation, with 169 factories in operation.

These factories, he acknowledged, employ a total of 169,870 people, both directly and indirectly, and contribute significantly to import substitution and export diversification.

He said over 60 percent of the companies operating under the 1D1F initiative are converting local raw materials into Made in Ghana products, in collaboration with local suppliers including farmers and other value chain actors.

This has led to a surge of diverse Made in Ghana products on the domestic and export markets, he added.

Additionally, he mentioned that government has made major strides in attracting foreign and domestic investment partnerships into new strategic industries, such as the automotive sector.

He stated that currently eleven major global vehicle brands – including Volkswagen, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan, Peugeot, Foton, Hyundai, Changan, KIA, Ashok Leyland and Honda – are assembled in Ghana and proudly carry the ‘Made in Ghana’ label.

“These initiatives place Ghana in a better position to be competitive domestically and in the regional market under the AfCFTA and ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).”

The Made-in-Ghana Bazaar is a flagship programme for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. It was launched in 2018 following government’s decision to re-establish the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau of the ministry in 2017, pursuant to its economic and industrial transformation agenda.

The 3rd edition was held under the theme ‘Promoting Made-in-Ghana goods and services for economic prosperity’. The event showcases products and services from micro, small and medium-sized businesses globally through diplomatic missions abroad.

This year, a total of 150 exhibitors are taking part in the bazaar. The products that are on display represent some of Ghana’s iconic product offerings in the local and international markets.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mavis Nkansah-Boadu – also speaking at the opening ceremony at the ministry, will continue working with its partners to identify more markets for our Ghanaian products and services.

“It is in light of this that the Bazaar is being held with a view to compiling data on all our exhibitors and circulating same to Ghana Missions abroad, as well as Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of Ghana, to help identify markets for them and expand their reach,” she said.

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