Lawyer and Senior Partner at AB & David Law affiliates, David Ofosu-Dorte has warned that Ghana will not benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) if policies are not put in place to promote the manufacturing sector.
The Free Trade Agreement, which has been signed by 40 countries of the African Union (AU) is expected to improve regional integration and boost economic growth across the continent.
Speaking to Citi Business News, David Ofosu-Dorte also urged Ghanaian manufacturers to increase production to enable them benefit from the available market that the agreement will bring.
“So we can say that, because of the Free Trade Agreement, we have a larger market and we are now going to have policies that enable our manufacturers to grow their businesses and our services to export because it’s not just manufacturing”.
Mr. Ofosu-Dorte maintained that Ghanaian manufacturers must begin to have a renewal of mindset to lead in the manufacturing sector on the continent.
“The other thing we need to do is to change the mind of local businesses and let them move from local champions to the international market. We have to see the continent as a big market and not see just our country as the potential market,” he said.
Mr. Ofosu-Dorte urged Ghanaian manufactures to target markets beyond in Nigeria and beyond to penetrate the West African sub-region.
About African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
African Heads of Government agreed to establish a continental free trade area in 2012 and started negotiations in 2015.
The agreement is set to be signed by all 55 members of the African Union, bringing together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.
The draft agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 percent of goods, with 10 percent of “sensitive items” to be phased in later.
The agreement will also liberalize services and aims to tackle so-called “non-tariff barriers” which hamper trade between African countries, such as long delays at the border.
Eventually, free movement of people and even a single currency could become part of the free trade area.
By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana