Tema, March 18, GNA – Ghana registered a trade deficit of three billion dollars in 2014, the Deputy Minister of trade and Industry, Mr Mustapha Mohammed said in Tema on Wednesday.
“We are working hard to reduce imports and promote exports. In 2014, about 17 billion US Dollars worth of goods were imported as against 13 billion US dollars exports.”
Mr Mohammed, who was addressing a day’s workshop organized for journalists by the Ship Owners and Agents Association (SOAAG), said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) was also taking measures to reduce the number of check points at Ghana’s seaports.
Mr Mohammed said his outfit was working on at least reducing the checks during clearance from 23 to 10.
According to him, it was worrying that importers go through many checks and delays before clearance.
He stated for instance that, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority alone has three different checks.
He added that even though these agencies at the ports have statutory backing, all of them must not work on all consignment as that causes delay in clearance.
The Deputy Minister said the need to decongest the port was very essential to his outfit and would therefore collaborate with stakeholders and hold an inter-ministerial meeting to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Mr Mohammed launched a campaign against the sale and buying of stolen containers.