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By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah
Tema Oct 5, Gitficonline— “We would extol to our members the benefits of the free trade area partnership and what we wish to do and what Ghana offers,” says the President of the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC).
Mr. Alexander Nortey observes that, “The fact that the AfCFTA secretariat is in Ghana is a plus; the fact that we have a good political and social climate here is also a plus… this will help us to gear up our members to gird their loins in preparations to do more business across the region instead of focusing on North America.”
Mr. Nortey said this on Thursday in his office, Accra, in an exclusive interview with the gitficonline ahead of the 4th GITFiC conference which would be held on the 27th and 28th October, this year.
He informed that Ghana had done well in gaining international reputation in doing business, “And we are happy as a chamber to be able to help our members to embrace this development in Ghana and the sub-region.”
Mr. Nortey observed that his chamber had not focused a lot of their businesses within the African sub-region, and therefore would be impressing on their members to go for more intra-Africa trade under AfCFTA due to the many opportunities it offered.
“The chamber wants to ensure that the benefits the agreement would elevate a number of businesses that are locally grown to be able to expand across regional boarders and Africa,” Mr. Nortey added.
The CGCC President said there was a major challenge in getting local produce and products across to other economies. “Round table meetings do not favor African goods and services, the tariffs, etc.; we have challenges with trading blocs; they tend to favor those within their continent,” he told of how critical the success of AfCFTA was to African businesses.
In explaining why CGCC were ready to take advantage of the continental free trade agreement, Mr. Nortey said, “Our members are business people, they are looking for growth in terms of selling their goods and services, so obviously they are looking at ways and means in which they can improve their balance sheet and their business exposure and marketing of their businesses, and getting more customers.”
Mr. Nortey said the African continent was the richest in natural resources and could be extremely productive and resourceful if it had access to other markets.
In that regard, he asserted that Africa was not making full use of her capabilities and resources. “There is a huge potential in agro-production and in manufacturing and industrialization. So I think a lot of African countries need to look at that because it is a major growth area,” he explained.
The 4th GITFiC conference, which is on the theme, “Optimizing AfCFTA for Africans, the role of logistics infrastructure,” and would be held in Accra, would assemble trade experts to prepare the minds of industry players and entrepreneurs concerning the implementation of the continental free trade area agreement in order for them to take advantage and expand their businesses.