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Be abreast of trade terms to benefit from AfCFTA - AGI

New AfCFTA Logo.png African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

Tue, 22 Mar 2022 Source: GNA

The operators of small-scale businesses have been advised to study the terms of trade engagements to enable them to enjoy the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Mr. Kwasi Nyamekye, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Chairman for the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions has advised.

''As it stands now most of the local businesses have little knowledge on AfCFTA, so we need to sensitise them to understand the opportunities and dangers associated with the Trade Area because it is not all that rosy'', he indicated.

''Take a country like Egypt, if the trade market is open up and knowing how vibrant their textile and clothing industry is they will take up our market within the twinkle of an eye'' he cited, saying this could lead to most small-scale businesses collapsing eventually."

Mr. Nyamekye gave the advice when he was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, indicating “this is the most convenient time for businesses in the regions to scale up and utilise available opportunities to also penetrate other African markets with the Free Trade taken full force”.

He stated the AGI in the region intended to organise education seminars for its members and local businesses, lobby government agencies to give flexible-termed loans to the members and find possible ways to have them produce under less expensive electricity charges to make the local companies well-positioned and competitive.

Mr. Nyamekye encouraged local businesses to endeavour to market their products in other countries and not just sit back and watch the Ghanaian markets flooded with foreign goods as “this is the time to take advantage of the expanded market”.

He observed sometime in cross-border trades, some of the members encountered challenges such as seizure of goods and payment of exorbitant duties at the borders and therefore encouraged members to report such incidents for the Association to step in to offer the necessary assistance.

The AfCFTA was founded on March 21, 2018 with an agreement brokered by the African Union (AU) and signed by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda, with the agreement becoming operational January 1, 2021.

AfCFTA is not only promoting free trade but also working as a powerful tool for peace-building to ensure sustainable enabling environment for the free trade (free movement of goods and services) in the continent.

Source: GNA