The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr. Yofi Grant, has assured local businesses that the Centre is ready to assist them to harness the opportunities that come with trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
This comes on the back of calls by the business community for more to be done to empower the private sector to become a hub for economic growth in Africa through the AfCFTA.
Outlining some priority areas in an interview with Citi Business News, Mr, Yofi Grant, stated that the GIPC serves as the intermediary between the private sector and the government; hence, it’s willingness to create a more conducive business environment for local businesses to thrive under the AfCFTA.
“It’s without doubt that at the high ends of the trade value chain, there is value addition and industrialization, so we are not going to export our raw materials and resources as we did before. We are going to add value to them. And in that sense, we would require some amount of investment to make that happen because investment is not only into the companies. It is also about the factories themselves because if you want to be a trade partner, you must be trading some goods and services. You must build the capacity for it,” he said.
He further added that the GIPC is proposing quite a number of things such as a the incentive regime more structurally.
“There’s also training as all these form the composite for what is required to make it happen in a very structured way. Looking for investors who are particularly keen on that. But we are now selling a much more aggressive story of actually coming to produce in Africa, and helping our indigenes to also scale up. For example, in the textiles industry, we have spoken to quite a number of significant world players to actually come and set up shop in Ghana and then take advantage of that export to the continent. We have also discussed with some of our European partners to actually come establish the factories here. At the GIPC, we are actually increasing capacity for better trade investment facilitation which would then percolate towards the trade infrastructure,” he added.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is an agreement among 54 African countries.
It consolidates a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
The agreement which commenced on January 1, 2021, has an estimated potential of boosting intra-Africa trades by over 50 per cent while eliminating import duties.
It also has an estimated potential of lifting 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty, boost Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035 and also increase Africa’s exports by $560 billion.