Accra, Feb. 05, GNA - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has commended Ghana for its impressive economic performance over the past few years, with high real GDP growth rates, decreasing inflation, improved fiscal situation, and substantial progress in poverty reduction.
The commendation came up at the just ended Third Trade Policy Review of Ghana by the World Trade Organisation, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from Monday, January 29 to Wednesday, January 31, 2008.
A statement sent to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Daniel Okaiteye-Blessyn, Head of Chancery, Ghana Embassy, Berne, Switzerland on Monday said; "WTO members noted that the strong growth of Ghana's economy had been supported by trade liberalisation, through, inter-alia, reduction of tariff rates and the number of bands, as well as the streamlining of customs procedures.
The country's commitment to the WTO, including the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations was welcomed, but Ghana was encouraged to increase its notifications under various WTO Agreements. Mr. Vesa Himanen of Finland, Chairman of the meeting, observed that WTO members could assist Ghana by keeping their markets open for products and services of interest to Ghana, and by providing technical assistance.
Ghana's seven-member delegation, which was led by Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, MP, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives included Mr. Kwabena Baah-Duodu, Ghana's Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva.
The statement said other members of the delegation were officials of the Ghana Permanent Mission in Geneva, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives, the Registrar General's Department and Customs and Excise and Preventive Service.
Ghana's policy objective of increasing its regional and global integration, strengthening and diversifying its export base was also well appreciated.
It said the WTO encouraged Ghana to pursue its reforms, including its trade regime, and to improve its multilateral commitments on goods and services, to enhance the transparency and predictability of the regime, and adherence to WTO principles. The statement said the Chairman of the meeting observed that WTO members could assist Ghana by keeping their markets open for products and services of interest to Ghana, and by providing technical assistance.
Mr. Kwaku-Manu had earlier briefed the meeting on economic developments in Ghana and highlighted the new trade policy of Ghana, which was being implemented under a five-year Trade Sector Support Programme.
He called for assistance from the WTO and Ghana's development partners to assist her in various areas, including assisting the country to overcome the supply-side constraints, which had prevented her from taking full advantage of the market access openings offered by the multilateral trading system and from other preferential regimes. On the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), the Deputy Minister urged members to redouble their efforts to ensure that the negotiations were successfully concluded. The discussant for the review was Professor Arsene Balihuta, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva. CKA 05 Feb. 08