AfCFTA will boost the country’s balance of payment

The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) says the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) will boost the country’s Balance of Payment as local enterprises flourish on its platform.

Mr. Daniel Acheampong, the GEA President, said there was no doubt, employment, and per capita income levels would also be boosted to help improve the quality of life of the people.

Mr Acheampong in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said a April 2021 Konfidants Report recommended that issues bordering on the cost of credit, cost of power, customs efficiency, productivity capacity trade logistics deserved critical medium and long-term policy attention to place Ghana in pole position as far as competitive advantage was concerned.

“GEA will like to associate itself with these recommendations and call for a broader stakeholder engagement to find solutions to these nagging issues that stand to obstruct Ghana’s uptake of the AfCFTA,” he added.

He said the Association had observed that local employers could only tap deeply into the vast possibilities and opportunities of the Agreement if they were offered financial support or could readily access patient capital.

The President said the Association stood ready to work in partnership with government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other key stakeholders to identify and support industries with highly competitive advantage to enable Ghana to optimize the benefits to be derived from the AFCFTA in real terms.

He called on government to develop far-reaching strategies to ensure that Ghanaian employers benefited significantly from the proposed Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) by the Afrexim Bank.

PAPSS is a centralised payment and settlement infrastructure for intra-African trade and commerce payments to facilitate payments as well as formalise some of the unrecorded trade due to prevalence of informal cross-border trade in Africa.

It will also provide alternative to current high-cost and lengthy correspondent banking relationships to facilitate trade and other economic activities among African countries through a simple, low-cost, and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.

The benefits of PAPPS for cross-border payments include cost reduction; reduction in duration and time variability; decreasing liquidity requirements of commercial banks; decreasing liquidity requirements of central banks for settlement as well as its own payments and strengthening Central Banks’ oversight of cross border payment systems.

Mr Acheampong said it was a truism that a peaceful industrial relations climate was a potent ingredient in sustainable productivity and enterprise growth as well as national development.

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