By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah
The President of the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) has wondered why African states have delayed the establishment ofa continental free trade area due to the many blessings the agreement holds for the continent.
Mr. Alexander Nortey says, “This initiative is long overdue…I am wondering why it has taken so many years since we attained independence to establish such a thing; however, we must take advantage of it today as it is being implemented.”
Mr. Nortey made this submission on Monday during the launch of the fourth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC), which was on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project, at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Conference Hall, Accra.
In observing how critical the agreement was, Mr. Nortey informed that the European Union (EU) and other unions of the world were working in a very “holistic fashion”to create opportunities for their industries and organizations and Africa should do same.
“The agreement puts in motion mutual and beneficial partnership between nations in Africa with regards to products, services and our businesses relations. This platform for African countries to stand together as a united front is essential,” Mr. Nortey indicated.
The CGCC president said the agreement sought to broaden the market by easing the movement of businesses, goods, services, etc. across borders. “The lowering of restrictions of movements between African countries will enable organizations to develop and expand into new territories,” he said.
Mr. Nortey observed that, for the AfCFTA to succeed, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should have access to bank facilities, and should be promoted by African governments in order for them to expand and take advantage of the continental free trade area agreement.
He said the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce, which has 78 members, has put in place structures for member organizationstotake advantage of the opportunities offered by the continental free trade area agreement.
Mr. Nortey informed that “the chamber will persistently continue to seek new opportunities for all their members through the Canadian High Commission in Ghana,” hinting thatthis effort of the CGCC will be facilitated by experts with extensive knowledge in the continental free trade area.
“What we’re seeking to do is to advance business growth for all our members so that they can access finance, and they could exchange technology between Ghana and the rest of the world,especially Canada.” The CGCC president said.