Gov’t urged to help develop local capacity to leverage AfCFTA

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Accra, Oct. 3, GNA – The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has called on Government to urgently help in developing the local production capacity as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement comes into full force.
     The Association said with the local capacity fully developed, it would position Ghanaian industries to fully leverage the opportunities under the agreement, else the country risks being marginalized.
     This was contained in a communique issued and signed by Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, the President of AGI after the just ended Industrial Summit organised by the Association last month, which brought to the fore the urgent need for policy makers, trade experts and Government to chart a competitive path for Industry.
     The Association in the communique said inasmuch as it supported economic cooperation and multi-lateral trade, it was important for Government to incentivise local industry.
     The AGI said the country’s 90 per cent tariff lines (products) under the Continental Free Trade must be carefully evaluated, taking cognisance of local production capacity for some of the products for which Ghana already had significant local production capacity.
      The Association urged the Public Utility Regulatory Commission to reverse the current tariff regime where Industry subsidises for residential customers, adding that, the current electricity tariff level does not make local industry competitive, compared to its peers in the sub-region.
     The AGI said it had committed to promoting quality among local businesses and urged all local businesses to build a reputation for quality as it had the potential to transform business while opening avenues to international markets.
      The Association said it was in full support of the establishment of the Fiscal Stability Council with the objective of strengthening and reinforcing stability of the financial sector, coordinating, supervising, evaluating and mitigating financial stability risks, among others, as it would improve the transparency and integrity of the financial system.
     Commending the Government for the bold initiative of the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act to ensure prudent expenditure by Government, especially in the coming election year, the AGI urged government to strictly, adhere to the tenets of the Act to maintain macro-economic stability in both the short and long terms.
     “Our expectations of Government’s agenda of developing and implementing a comprehensive export diversification action plan based on the national export strategy are still high and we are anxious to see a lot more of Government’s policy initiatives fully actualized,” the communique said.
     The Association said it was crucial for Government to prioritise its interventions for industry and expedite action on its strategic anchor industries to help in guaranteeing sustainable jobs.

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