Business News Mon, 17 Jan 2022

Establishing AfCFTA Resource Centre will attract American businesses – AmCham

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ghana is upbeat the decision to set up the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Resource Centre in its office will attract more American businesses to partner with Ghanaians to take advantage of the agreement.

The chamber decided to set up a resource centre as part of its operations to provide guidelines and advice to American businesses trying to expand activities on the African continent through AfCFTA.

Data from the AfCFTA secretariat forecast that when fully implemented the agreement will represent the world’s largest free trade area, with 55 participating countries covering 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of US$3.4trillion.

Speaking to the B&FT, the Executive Secretary of AmCham, Simon Madjie, described the establishment of the resource centre as a pragmatic move to address the number of enquiries that came to the chamber after the AfCFTA became operational.

He disclosed that the level of interest shown by American businesses is overwhelming, and an indication that U.S investors are gearing up to partner with local businesses to reach the entire African continent. “For us at AmCham, this is just a timely move to create that conducive environment for U.S businesses asking questions about the AfCFTA and how they can enter into partnership deals with Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the agreement,” he said.

Mr. Madjie was optimistic the number of U.S. investors in Ghana will go up in 2022 due to the recovery being experienced globally after the COVID-19 outbreak. “COVID-19 created a global financial slowdown, and so almost all investors were not sure about the future. Now, you’ll agree with me that things are normalising and we are getting back to normal times gradually.”

He hinted that, already, some U.S businesses have expressed interest in partnering with Ghanaians in the agro-processing and manufacturing sectors.

On her part, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, reiterated the need for Ghanaian businesses to see the AfCFTA as a game-changer that could make Ghana the gateway to trade and investment in Africa.

“The AfCFTA has the potential to be a game-changer, not only for doing business across the continent but also for how the rest of the world thinks of Africa. It can truly make Ghana a gateway for the African market. U.S. companies already see the opportunity,” Ambassador Sullivan said during the opening of a new office for AmCham at East Legon in Accra.

She announced that Ghana’s political stability, security, growing middle-class and its new role as host to the AfCFTA secretariat are attracting more U.S. companies as they look for growth opportunities on the African continent.

Ambassador Sullivan stated that the opportunity is ripe for the AfCFTA to deliver on its promise of expanding intra-regional trade and capturing new foreign direct investment.

She maintained that there is no doubt that the implementation of AfCTFA will affect U.S.-Africa trade relations and present immense opportunities for U.S. company trade and investment across the continent.

This, she said, will significantly accelerate intra-Africa trade, becoming an engine of growth and sustainable development.

Ambassador Sullivan applauded the American Chamber of Commerce-Ghana for launching its AfCFTA Resource Centre – describing it as an effort to help U.S. companies understand more about the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

“AmCham Ghana has its eye on the future as it looks to position itself for success in Africa’s rapidly changing business environment,” she said, adding that the Resource Centre will further encourage U.S. businesses to see Ghana as the gateway to trade in Africa.
Source: thebftonline.com
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