unctad.org | Ghana makes positive strides towards the implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement
Ghana makes positive strides towards the implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement
17 May 2017
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Implementation of trade facilitation reforms, including in areas like the single window is key for strengthening regional integration in Africa and is in itself an inescapable must-have for the continent's efforts to boost intra-African trade, increase productive capacities and structural transformation for sustainable development.

"I commend Ghana for its progress on trade facilitation", said UNCTAD's Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi during the Ghana National Conference on the Single Window and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, adding that "An efficient and effective customs administration is at the heart of any trade facilitation reform."

Ghana is one of the frontrunners in the region implementing the single window system — one of the key measures in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The National Single Window enhances the potential for foreign direct investment in countries and links, in a seamless and electronic manner, information flow between importing and exporting traders importing on the one hand, and the relevant government authorities on the other, making trade processes more efficient, transparent and cost effective.

Investing in the implementation of trade facilitation reforms is also key for realizing the SDGs, in particular SDG 9 on infrastructure, innovation and industry.

"Ghana's experience as a trailblazer on Trade Facilitation can serve as a model for the region," said Dr. Kituyi.

Dr. Kituyi also called for the sharing of regional experiences and highlighted the value in learning from the ECOWAS case. "As had been seen in East and Southern Africa, the top down approach could only go so far, said Dr. Kituyi, adding that "bottom-up efforts and national leadership, particularly in cooperation with the private sector, are needed and go much farther in driving a meaningful locally owned regional integration agenda."

Ghana is one of the original signatories to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which came into force recently. The WTO estimates that the Agreement will generate more than a trillion dollars in benefits annually and that the majority of these benefits will accrue to developing economies.

The implementation of the second phase of the Single Window in Ghana is expected to reduce time and cost of trade related procedures by 50% resulting in annual savings of over US$ 120 million.

"Trade facilitation is a cornerstone of the government's trade and economic development agenda. We believe it will greatly assist Ghana in reaching our full potential as a leading trading nation, both regionally and globally, and that this in turn will create strong earnings and employment growth within the country," said Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry in Ghana.

During the two-day conference, Dr. Kituyi paid a courtesy call on H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and renewed UNCTAD's commitment to deepening collaboration with Ghana including in the key areas of strengthening ports capacity, institutional support for implementation of trade facilitation reforms, entrepreneurship under UNCTAD's EMPRETEC programme, and policy development in key trade related areas including in the cotton sector.

Dr. Kituyi also visited the Dignity DTRT (DoTheRightThing), Ghana's key textile industry currently manufacturing garments for the International market; with a workforce of 1500 people most of who are women.


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