Government has been tasked by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) to consider the provision of a stimulus package for local businesses involved in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The president of the Chamber, Clement Osei-Amoako, made the call in an interview with an Accra-based FM station. He stressed that the takeoff of the AfCFTA meant that local business automatically had continent-wide competition.
According to Mr. Osei-Amoako, the proposed package will also boost the business environment and in effect engender critical private sector competitiveness. “What we seek to do is that, we always look at market opportunities to avail ourselves to it and see where we can reap whatever is there.
“So, most of the things that we do, hitherto, were just business meetings in other countries to just look for buyers. But with a market of 1.2 billion, there is a lot of potentials.
“So, we need knowledge of the market as to what is going on. Now, we are talking about cost of funds. This is important, but we still need to be competitive, that is why we are asking the government to look at giving us some form of stimulus packages to help us,” he said.
AfCFTA officially kicked off on January 1, 2021. The African Union-led initiative pools together a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
Leveraging on the agreement, Africa is looking to create 14 million jobs by 2025 on the back of a manufacturing output that is projected to double to $1 trillion.
The agreement requires all nations to remove 90% tariffs from goods, and to allow free access to commodities, goods, and services across Africa. The AfCFTA, headquartered in Accra is the largest free trade area in the world according to the number of countries involved.