The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)-led coalition for trade facilitation is arguing strongly for the ratification and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
That it believes will help to address the myriad of challenges faced by cross-border traders.
The Secretary General of the ICC Ghana Coalition, Mr Emmanuel Doni-Kwame, indicated that the holistic and efficient implementation of the agreement could have a major impact on bringing down trade transaction costs.
Speaking at the Coalition’s stakeholder workshop on the TFA in Accra, he said: “There is the need to be constantly updated on new developments within the existing multilateral arrangements which have an impact on the country’s economic development within the context of globlisation.
Benefits of the agreement
“The Trade Facilitation Agreement will enhance an efficient logistics chain, impact the manufacturing and agro-based industries which create real jobs, impact trading relationships; and impact our manufacturing imports, exports, and livelihoods.”
Mr Doni-Kwame noted that efforts to promote trade facilitation must be geared towards attainment of the blue economy and must be underpinned by an economic paradigm shift.
That, he said, would help to generate more revenue, create jobs, and make the country more competitive on the global market.
The immediate-past President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), who now chairs the Trade Facilitation Commission of ICC Ghana, said trade facilitation required efforts from both the shipping community and the regulatory agencies to ensure a win-win situation for all parties involved.
He said: “Inefficient border procedures adds cost to both the shipping community and the regulators of trade. Over-zealous inspection can delay revenue collection as it causes delays and queues at entry ports.
“Trade facilitation aims at simplifying not only documentation required to clear goods, but also procedures employed by border agencies. Trade facilitation is best described as a win-win subject for developing and developed countries.”
Mr Agbaga argued that the ongoing review to the TFA would help to facilitate trade to ensure a win-win situation to the shipper and the regulatory bodies and downplayed the current happening whereby consumers had to bear those costs arising from delays in clearance processes.
“The TFA has the potential to be of particular benefit to traders in developing countries who continually face lengthy and costly border delay.
“For instance, focusing on the biggest risk allows border agencies to speed up the flow of goods across borders and increases collection of duties and reverse the situation whereby companies have to tie up capital in extra holding costs above the levels that should be necessary,” he noted.
The stakeholders include the leadership of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, Customs Division of GRA and officials from the Ministry of Trade andIndustry.
The Coalition for Trade Facilitation, which is being supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Fund (BUSAC).
The coalition includes the World Trade Centre, Accra, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana Employers Association, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Shippers Authority, Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters, Ghana Union of Traders Association and the Ghana National Cargo Transporters Association. — GNA