The US Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson has launched “The Cost of Trading in Ghana,” a new study on the impact of trade-related fees and charges.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted the study on behalf of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, according to a press release from the US Embassy in Ghana.
The study was launched at the monthly luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce. High-level Ghanaian government officials and members of the private sector attended the event.
The study details how official and unofficial fees and charges associated with trade impact Ghana’s trade volume, government revenues, and private sector viability. Ghana undertook this study as part of its efforts to comply with benchmark guidelines outlined in the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, it noted.
According to the release, the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which went into effect on February 22, contains provisions for expediting the movement, release, and clearance of goods. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
It noted that, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement could reduce worldwide trade costs by as much as 17.5 percent, with the greatest benefits accruing to African and other developing countries.
At the event, Ambassador Jackson stressed that adoption of the study’s recommendations and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement would foster increased economic growth in Ghana.
“Ghana has tremendous potential to be ‘the trade gateway of Africa. The United States will work with you to create an enabling business environment that builds on your economic and political stability and creates jobs for the citizens of both our countries,” Mr Jackson was cited as saying in the release.
USAID works with the Ghanaian government and private sector to target key barriers to trade and investment, and promote regional integration and trade competitiveness. It aims to increase intra-regional African trade and exports to the U.S. and reduce the time it takes to import or export from ports to land-locked interiors on the continent.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng