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Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen has justified reasons for Ghana hosting the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to him, the hosting comes with many great opportunities for the country, including job opportunities for Ghanaians and direct foreign investments.
At a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, July 10, Mr. Kyeremanten said it holds a lot in for Ghana.
“The hosting of the secretariat will provide Ghana as an attractive investment destination and actively promote foreign direct investment”, he said.
“Benefits of the AfCFTA includes consumers enjoying low prices of goods as goods come in duty free, add value to Africa’s abundant natural resources and promote economic diversification and industrialization, develop regional value chains and facilitate cross border investments”, he added.
He however noted the benefits do not come automatically as member countries will have to produce before they sell.
Many have raised concerns over what this means for indigenous businesses even as there is already a fracas between local and foreigners in petty retail business.
But the minister insists those concerns would not arise under this agreement.
He said the agreement is an initiative of Ghana which got the attention of the African Union.
“The initial decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area was taken at a Trade Ministerial Meeting held in Ghana and chaired by Ghana, in September 2011 and at the 18th Annual Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in January 2012, the decision to establish the AfCFTA was officially endorsed”, he explained.
According to the minister, the President of Ghana formally tabled the motion for the establishment of AfCFTA.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is a Single Market which is duty-free and quota-free covering the entire African Continent with a total population of 1.2 billion and a combined GDP of almost $3 trillion. So far, 54 countries out of 55 with the exception of Eritrea have signed the AfCFTA with 27 countries ratifying the Agreement.
By Lydia Larbi | 3news.com|Ghana