Government has indicated its resolve to embark on initiatives towards improving trade financing and access to credit for the Ghanaian business community. The aim is to boost the nation’s capacity for large scale trading in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In a speech delivered on his behalf at the Graphic Business & Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra Tuesday, March 30, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng said this would bolster existing efforts introduced and aimed at supporting the Ghanaian business community with improved means of finance and reduction in the cost of credit.
Patrick Yaw Nimo, Chief Director of the Ministry said, “the Ministry of Trade will collaborate with banks and other financial institutions to establish special financing windows for products of strategic sectors and special programs such as the 1D1F initiative and the Strategic Industries Initiative.”
The Minister of Trade and Industry also said it would position local industries to regional credit lines such as the proposed Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) by Afri-Exim Bank and the African Trade Insurance which would provide export credit insurance and guarantees for businesses in Africa under the AfCFTA.
He also revealed that in order to provide adequate fiscal incentives for trading in the AfCFTA, government has since 2017 removed and reduced a number of taxes such as the waiver of import duties for imported plants and equipment, machinery and raw materials for 1D1F companies and companies operating under the Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Development Program.
The Minister disclosed that other significant incentives are bound to be introduced.
He said Ghana as a country needs to address the weak institutional capacity which is crucial to enhance operators in the informal sector to harness the experience and know-how to meet requirements for successful exports.
“Projects such as the Trade Related Assistance and Quality enabling program has contributed significantly to retooling of laboratories and conformity assessment bodies and regulatory agencies such as the Ghana Standards Authority, the Food and Drugs Authority, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Authority.”
Alan Kyeremanteng also said under the National Action Plan, the government was seeking to bridge the information gap by providing easily accessible and timely information necessary for businesses to take full advantage of the opportunities under AfCFTA.