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By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah
The Business Development Officer of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has informed of the impending expansion of the market for Ghanaian industries which were hitherto struggling to export their products to other markets.
Mr. Ernest Amoah says the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement would enable Ghanaian industries to redirect their export initiatives to other African countries and gain a better export deal in the process.
Mr. Amoah said this in an interview with the gitficonline on the sidelines of the launch of the fourth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC), AfCFTA edition, at the Naa Deide Omadro Conference Hall, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
Mr. Amoah said the GFZA had a significant role to play in the implementation and success of the African Continental free trade agreement in Ghana, “Because the free zones regime promotes the processing and manufacturing of goods for export, and we offer general incentives to businesses licensed under the free zones program.”
In that regard, Mr. Amoah observed that companies licensed under the free zones regime and processing local raw materials therefore had the opportunity to access the African market duty free.
The GFZA Development Officer said management of GFZA, over the past couple of years, decided to focus on encouraging Ghanaian industries to take advantage of the free zone incentives in Ghana to produce for export.
He however indicated that GFZA was aware of the difficulties Ghanaian businesses went through in exporting locally produced goods to the European Union (EU) and other advanced non-African markets which had been the focus of Ghanaian exports.
“As African countries, we believe that we can achieve trade among ourselves. That is why AfCFTA is offering this environment to do that and we ask Ghanaian industries to take advantage of this opportunity,” Mr. Amoah stressed.
In explaining further some of the provisions of the continental free trade agreement which would impact on the African market, he informed that provision had been made for goods produced in special economic zones to be treated as originated from Africa provided they satisfied “the rules of origin.”
“The GFZA is therefore well positioned to offer incentives to companies producing goods with local materials to enable them compete effectively within the African continent,” Mr. Amoah informed.
He expressed joy for the fourth GITFiC conference by indicating the GFZA would be present to discuss its role in the implementation of AfCFTA, and invited all free zone enterprises to attend and learn more about the opportunities AfCFTA presented and how they could effectively trade in Africa.