Our AfCFTA goals will fail without private sector inclusion – Minister
Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, says private sector participation is key to the country’s quest to benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
He said the government recognised the role of local entrepreneurs and was committed to supporting businesses succeed under the AfCFTA.
The Minister, who was addressing a regional stakeholders conference in Ho on the trade agreement, said the continental free trade area held prospects for the business community.
“Entrepreneurs must all be commended. It is not easy to set up and sustain a business throughout the years. It is a journey that needs the strength of character and focus.
Our AfCETA journey would fail if the private sector does not take advantage. Many agencies are there to support you, so please be aware and don’t be afraid to walk in and ask for support,” he said.
Mr Ahomka-Lindsay said the government had supported key financial institutions to provide the needed support.He said through the GRATIS Foundation, the government established technical solution centres across the country so small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could access the right equipment.
“We must explore ways to increase creativity around product processing and packaging. Ghana is the eighth highest exporter on the Continent and a focus of the competition,” Mr Ahomka Lindsay stated.
He said the government, in its passion to see the private sector blossom, gave supportive tax cuts and exemptions to cushion progress.
Mr Sandy Osei Agyeman, Board Chairman of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), advised businesses to consider the “multiplier effect” module, which he said was the secret to the success of the Jewish business community.
“If AfCETA is to work, we have to practice the multiplier effect and not import from the Chinese,” he said.
Ghana’s export development strategy is expected to help grow non-traditional export revenues from the present US$2.9 billion to US$25 billion by 2029.