The Association of Ghana Industries is calling on the government to introduce a tax regime that would make local producers competitive especially with the commencement of the Africa continental free trade Area agreement (AFCFTA).
Speaking to Citi Business News, Johnson Opoku-Boateng, Director of Business Development Service at AGI, says that the introduction of tax reliefs for local manufacturers will boost their production and better serve the economy.
“AGI is concerned about unfair competition and unfair trade practices. We should also be looking at the tariff regime. Instead of saying you want to reduce taxes for products that are coming from outside the country, that is finished products, so that you’d have volume coming in and based on the volume then you’re going to be having a lot of money from taxes, juxtapose that against Ghanaian industries who are employing Ghanaians here. They are going to be on the losing side because their products are a bit expensive.”
He added that “What happens is that you’re now going to be pushing a lot more people into trade and commerce and then you collapse your manufacturing industries. What are you doing in turn? You are actually increasing employment in those other countries. At the end of the day, you become like a sales point or like a place where people just flood in and sell.”
What is AfCFTA?
AfCFTA is an agreement among 54 African countries which commenced in January this year. It has an estimated potential of boosting both intra-African trades by 52.3 per cent by eliminating import duties.
The agreement seeks to establish a single market for goods and services across 54 countries, allow the free movement of business travellers and investments, and create a continental customs union to streamline trade – and attract long-term investment.
With a combined market of over 1.2 billion people (which is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050) and a GDP of $2.5 trillion, AfCFTA could potentially make Africa the largest free trade area in the world since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is a voluntary business association of over 1,200 members, made up of small, medium and large-scale manufacturing and services industries in agro-processing (food and beverages), agri-business, pharmaceuticals, electronics and electrical, telecommunications, information technology, utilities, service industries, transport, construction, textiles, garments and leather, banking and advertising.