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Business News Wed, 30 Jun 2021

Industry needs right systems and policies to optimise AfCFTA - AGI

Local producers and exporters need to look beyond West Africa and deploy strategies that will enable them penetrate the continent-wide market, Seth Twum Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has said.

In doing so, makers of products in which Ghana has proven competitive advantage will need the right support systems to expand and to push those goods into the single market, he added.

“Our [AGI’s] analysis shows that we’re not the best country in terms of competitiveness; and we have the likes of Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya — who are advanced in a lot of ways — also strategising to enter our market.

"If we want to take full advantage of AfCFTA, we must be mindful of these big players that are a threat to us and strategise more to be able to test this market,” Mr. Akwaboah said as a panellist at a trade forum in Accra.

According to him, factors of competitiveness such as cost of power and capital must be addressed to de-risk the local business environment and make it conducive for enterprises to thrive.

“Export is about trade in mostly goods, and services as well, which means competitiveness in terms of product quality, price and other elements. For us to take full advantage of the opportunities that are being created [by AfCFTA], the business environment must be so conducive that we’re competitive.”

On the issue of standards, the AGI boss said not every locally made product can meet international standards, especially products by infant industries now springing up and undergoing a learning process, and urged that efforts to promote standards in exports must be pursued.

“When you’re promoting exports, you don’t bring every producer and try to push all of them to a stock; you look for those with the enthusiasm and capacity to produce goods that meet the standard of the destination markets.

"There are a good number of companies that are producing goods with ISO certification, which means they are actually meeting the international standards,” he said.
Source: business24.com.gh
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