Trading on the African Inter Continental Free trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to start soon.
This is because the process of negotiations and protocols are about 88 percent completed to allow for trading.
Fifty four out of the fifty five African countries have ratified to trade among themselves.
Briefing Journalists at a training workshop organized by the AfCFTA Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, National Coordinator of the AfCFTA National Office, Dr. Fareed Arthur tells journalists that the Assembly of Heads of States will take a decision on the proposal to start trading when they meet this month.
“The Ministers have recommended that even at 88 % we should be able to start. Now this will go to the Assembly which is taking place somewhere in February, and when the assembly adopts it then it becomes a mandate for implementation”.
In Ghana, preliminary assessments are being done for One hundred and eighty companies to start exporting, out of the identified 6,000 companies in the export sector.
Dr. Fareed said Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) was engaged to create a platform for the registration as well as the Ghana Chamber of Commerce for the Rules of Origin certification and identified that, two companies including Kasapreko and Ghandour Cosmetics Limited were already exporting their products outside Ghana and so were given approval to start as part of experimental shipments.
To start trading under AfCFTA however, countries are required to submit their tariffs schedule but Dr. Fareed said “ Out of the 44 countries that are required to submit their tariffs schedule only 29 of them have been verified for approval. So even as at now only 29 countries if we are to do so now can start trading,” he stressed.
There is however an arrangement in the wider sense that two or three countries can go into bilateral agreement to start trading.
Dr. Fareed said Ghana has shown that its systems are ready and have been engaging several countries to see which of them is ready to start bilateral trading.
By Richard Bright Addo|3news.com|Ghana