The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says its members have chalked some level of success with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
A year down the lane, since its implementation, AGI says its members have benefitted immensely.
“AGI, we were extremely excited when it was launched because the head office is here in Ghana, so it remained a strategy for companies in Africa and internationally to situate their head office in Accra. So, there are several discussions this past one year to relocate companies head office to Accra and to expand the industrialisation program in Ghana.”
“There are many companies that have adjusted their production situation because of the agreement, so for the first time we have export desks in most of the companies,” Chairman of the AGI, Greater Accra, Tsonam Akpeloo said.
In January 2021, free trading officially commenced under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Four days later, two Ghanaian companies became pioneer exporters of products using the AfCFTA preferences, marking a major milestone in the short but eventful history of the trade pact.
As of 2021, 36 countries had deposited their instruments of ratification and ratified the AfCFTA agreement.
With the members in Agreement, the initiative promised to remove various trade barriers to improve trade amongst member countries. It is arguably the largest in the world, with an estimated market of about 3 trillion dollars.
AGI in an interview with Citi Business News, also called on the AfCFTA Secretariat to as a matter of urgency, launch the tariff book or tariff code.
The tariff book is a document that allows investors and member countries to determine how to prioritise their production schedules. It’s been a year since the implementation of the AfCFTA; however, the tariff book is yet to materialise.
Mr. Akpeloo added that even though its members have benefitted immensely from the agreement, the tariff book when launched will help avoid losses.
“For example, every country will have their goods that will be allowed within the trading agreement. So, I need to know which goods Senegal is allowing under the agreement in order for me to prepare to produce to supply the Senegal market. But we are only able to know this when the tariff book is ready.”
“Unfortunately, the book is not yet launched, and we were looking forward to having it launched this month. So, if it is launched, then it is easier for investors and AGI members to know as to what they should focus their investments on”, he said.